New Music Video: ‘I Won’t Stand For That’ by Mike Shirk
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (MuseWire) – Based out of mostly sunny San Diego, Calif., Mr. Mike Shirk, an artist and former ad exec, is living with an illness called inclusion body myositis. To deal with his health issues he launched a blog called lifedisabled.com and created a music video called “I won’t stand for that.”
As Shirk puts it, “I won’t stand for that (but I will sing about it). I wrote and performed this song to encourage myself and others suffering from a serious chronic illness to keep fighting and even enjoy the struggle. Most of the video was shot with my iPhone 4s, editing was done in iMovie, instrumentals created with Band in a Box and Garageband, vocals recorded and final compilation done on a MacBook Pro using Garageband.”
When diagnosed 16 years ago, Shirk closed his highly successful advertising agency, but was determined to make the most of his remaining years. IBM victims often die early, usually from pneumonia, as the muscles that support breathing and swallowing grow weaker. Today Mike feels fortunate that he has survived so long, which he attributes to remaining active and productive.
Mike’s blog features solutions to everyday living challenges he encounters as the debilitating effects of IBM increase. Mike shares everything from evaluating can and bottle openers to selecting vehicles and scooters. When easy-off, easy-on clothing was difficult to find, Mike bought a sewing machine and soon was making his own pants and even shoes.
Soon after diagnosis, Shirk began serious study of painting in watercolors. Mike thanks his wife, Beth, an accomplished artist, for his inspiration. Within a few years, his paintings had won national awards, been sold to dozens of collectors and he had become president of the prestigious San Diego Watercolor Society. During his term, Shirk relocated the Society to spacious new quarters and personally wrote business software applications to automate membership, paint-outs, calendars, exhibitions, and classes.
Mike also credits Apple products for making his life productive. He owns an iMac, MacBook Pro, an iPad and an iPhone. His new music video was made with Apple applications. Once a 100 WPM typist, Mike’s frozen fingers no longer can manipulate keyboards and he now dictates through the iPhone 4’s voice recognition software.
As long as he can, Shirk will continue to inspire the disabled and the rest of us. Will Mike give up? As these partial lyrics from his song say,
No, I won’t stand for that,
I’m too much man for that.
I never planned for this,
But life’s to grand for this.
There are stories to be written,
And lessons to be learned.
Feelings to be captured,
And love to be returned.
Music is a growing part of medical therapy. It’s working for Mike.