Earl Shuman may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of legendary pop music lyricists, but the late artist was responsible for the publishing over 400 songs over his career. Since 1949 his lyrics have appeared in songs by iconic artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones, Barbra Streisand, Meatloaf and many more. In 1970 he topped the Hot 100 with "Hey There Lonely Girl" (Eddie Holman). That song and more have been featured in films from Must Love Dogs to Crazy Rich Asians.
Hey There Lonely Girl - Eddie Holman www.youtube.com
Sadly, Earl Shuman passed away this past February at the age of 95 at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was survived by his three children, grandchildren, and evidently a plethora of songs that have yet to be made.
Not many years ago, a dear friend of Shuman's, Robert M. Tornambe, MD, remarked how sad it made him to see Christmas trees discarded on the streets of New York City after Christmas. He had a concept in mind, asking what it would be like if people maintained their trees year round, caring for them and keeping them alive as a constant reminder of Christmas cheer.
A sampling of songs contained in a 3 volume anthology Courtesy of Robert M. Tornambe, MD
Shuman ran with that idea and put it to lyrics. He wrote the song "Forever Green," which has all the makings of a classic Christmas children's movie or illustrated book. The record tells the story of 2 young children who declare they won't allow their family to throw away their tree next year. They stay true to their word and the song concludes with the sister and brother as adults, explaining to admiring neighbors how their love for the trees and appreciation of Christmas has allowed them keep their tree alive for decades.
After Earl passed away, Dr. Tornambe has been determined to see "Forever Green" through to fruition. By lucky chance and a fortunate series of connections, the song's lyrics came to Popdust. Humbled by the opportunity, I did my best to capture the spirit of Shuman's story, compose and record the music. We proudly present, for the first time, "Forever Green," written by Earl Shuman.
Shuman, serving in World War II in the U.S. Marine Corp
"The Mandalorian" Episode 7 Review
Let's get right to it. Baby Yoda is a kinky sexist.
14 minutes deep in Episode 7 of "The Mandalorian," the show's protagonist arm wrestles Cara Dune (Gina Carano), a female ally, onboard his starship. Seeing this, Baby Yoda reaches out and uses the Force to choke Cara. She immediately pulls back from the match, clenching her throat, desperately trying to free herself from the attack. Right then, Baby Yoda tightens his grasp to finish the job.
Courtesy of Lucasfilm
Finally, Mando intervenes, reprimanding Baby Yoda and disrupting his Force hold on the helpless woman. Many will defend BY, claiming he was just trying to protect Mando. But let's be real. Force choking is established in the Star Wars universe as a DARK SIDE technique. It doesn't come from a wellspring of loyalty or heroism, it bubbles up from an abyss of perversion, sick fantasies, and rage. It's clear that if uninterrupted, BY would have choked Cara to death, and would have liked it.
Now if you got off as good as I did from that scene, it's time for a reflective and satisfying smoke break. Luckily, Storm Troopers (or more specifically, Scout Troopers) brought the vape.
Some ignorant fools will claim the smoke there is actually just exhaust in the background. But ya boy knows vape clouds when he sees them. And if you're a true fan, you know that there is precedence for this sort of thing in this galaxy. In Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) Obi-Wan is offered "death sticks" while clubbing, which StarWars.com claims contain "highly addictive substance, delivered inside luminescent sticks, was a favorite among desperate addicts and foolish thrill-seekers." Sounds like some real bomb ass dank ass.
Some other stuff happens in this episode as well. Flashing back to Baby Yoda, the child uses his Force abilities to heal Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) after Greef was attacked by some poisonous, flying bat monster. So let's get this straight. When it's a woman, the little creeper (who, keep in mind is a 50 year old man) tries to choke her out. But when it comes to Greef Carga (a man, presented until now as an enemy), he will tenderly erase all wounds with his devil magic.
Anyway, it's a great episode and probably my favorite so far. 9/10.
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You enter your apartment after a long day's work and toss your keys on the counter - the metal chatters and chimes against the faux-marble surface as they grind to a halt. It's a familiar sound; one so frequently heard that even subtle notes once considered irritating have now grown neutral. Dead. You begin unpacking groceries when you hear another familiar frequency. This one is different. Unlike the brief percussion of keys, this sound failed to wither gracefully into placid neutrality. In fact, it has grown more loathsome, more offensive with time. Your muscles become tense as noise paces closer still. Without moving you slowly shift your line of site downwards with disdain. It's your dog. Panting. Scratching. Blinking. Licking his jowls with his disgusting tongue. He locks eyes with you as a bead of sweat surfaces above your brow and you look back at the beast, almost certain you can see his hairs shed, one by one, each fluttering down to your kitchen floor next to small puddles of drool. You knew this moment would come, perhaps not so soon, but you anticipated it nonetheless. It's time to end it all. It's time to break up with your dog.
Many of you likely find the mere proposition of dog-divorce as cruel or perhaps inhumane. So allow me to preface my guide by addressing the scientific facts:
- The canine species is known in the animal kingdom as a "Stage-5 Clinger," meaning once they have a taste of dog-human relations, they sink their teeth in deeper than they do with your favorite basketball shoes. Do not be fooled. Dogs are master manipulators and will employ every trick they know to keep you enslaved while thinking you're the master. And trust me, the tricks dogs are born with are far more powerful than any you think you've "taught" them.
- Dogs can smell fear. Why would a species without evil intent evolve such that it can smell human fear? The answer? Never.
- Dogs can't see color - and aren't people who say they "don't see color" just the worst?
- Dogs come from wolves! While man descended from the noble ape, and cats from the gentle lion, dogs come from one of the most ferocious, man-eating, soulless monsters Earth has ever produced. And on top of that, they have the gall to parade about with their wolf traits on full display subliminally striking fear into all people, then sniffing that fear out and using it to their advantage. They aren't even wolves in sheep's clothing, no; they are just wolves in smaller wolves' clothing!
Now that we've established the undeniable laws underlining all dog-human interactions, let us return to the matter at hand-paw: how to break up with your dog.
1. Prepare a Large Meal
Before initiating "the talk," you're going to want your pooch well fed. Hungry dogs are prepared to activate peak manipulation at any moment: "puppy eyes," whimpering, the whole nine yards (as in canine yards... coincidence? NO). Moreover, one must remember that these are wolf-offspring, and when provoked, can tear into your fragile flesh like a mindless vampire. And what is the signature sign of a vampire? Fangs, aka elongated canine teeth. Don't become a statistic. Instead, play it safe and make sure your mutt is stuffed to the brim by serving an irresistible feast... a "final meal," if you will.
2. Get a Little Drunk
While the creature snarls and snorts atop its slop, take the opportunity to have a few libations. Your choice of alcohol isn't of import, but subverting sobriety is. Recall fact number 2: dogs can smell fear. Therefore, it's essential you mask any emotions or apprehensions with good ol' liquid courage. If unsure how much to consume, simply refer to the classic saying: "don't approach the fur, till words begin to slur."
3. Propose An Outdoor Excursion
Break ups of any kind (interspecies and other) are best done in public places to ensure your safety. With humans, it can be difficult to accomplish a "clean break" in public because the breakee often has things in your apartment they will inevitably need to retrieve. In dog relationships, this is the one moment where being a person actually works in your favor. Legally speaking, you own everything the dog considers its rightful belongings. Therefore, once the canine is off your premises, they can lay no claim to any dog paraphernalia henceforth abandoned.
4. Disorient The Beast
Remember: the dog species is a Stage-5 Clinger. Countless people who try ending their damaging dog relationships wind up waking up the next morning after their first full night's rest in years, just to find the same mangy mutt moping at their doorstep. It's important the dog loses all sense of direction before you deliver them back to nature. I recommend blindfolding them and leading them in many circles by leash before even exiting the building. You may also want to stop in front of a neighbors door (one that doesn't know you well or that you have a dog), allow the animal to catch the scent, and then say something like "boy it sure is nice to be home, here where we live! Doesn't it just smell like home in front of this door?" Here, the dog's gullibility and lack of complex reasoning will be its downfall. Others have tried things like taking the dog up and down in the elevator many times before going outside, or putting a sign outside their door saying "sorry, I moved away." These techniques have also produced fairly promising results.
5. Do The DeedNow that you are outside, in a public place, and the dog has no idea how it got there, it's time to cut the leash. But first, request an Uber (this will make sense soon enough). The fifth and final step is, of course, the hardest, as it will require you to debase yourself. You will lie to the dog - tell it "it's not you, it's me... you are a good it... this isn't your fault." The humiliation will seem too much to bear, but you must stay strong. Make sure you have a flask of alcohol somewhere on your person. If you feel yourself sobering up or exhibiting any signs of fear, you must immediately swig it away. Being outside can remind the animal of its wolf-heritage. If it smells fear at this moment, it will likely tear your flesh wide open, kill and eat you. Drink and drink swift. Once you complete your prepared statement, allow the dog a chance to speak its part. In most cases, the dog will refuse to speak. This is known in the animal kingdom as "the silent treatment." DO NOT BE FOOLED! Instead, simply unleash the dog and say something distracting like "look over there," while pointing away from yourself. If that fails, try making vacuum cleaner sounds with your mouth or some sort of phone app. They hate that! Once their head is turned you hop in your Uber and drive off. If you try walking, running, or rollerblading the quadruped will follow you and potentially even outpace you with the agility God gave it as compensation for its dumbness. Lastly, warn the Uber driver that if they can't escape the dog you will consider rating them very poorly. They hate that!
It wasn't easy, but you did it. You broke up with your dog. Many will judge you, but you'll know you did the right thing for you and for Ralphie, or whatever the f*ck its name was. Doesn't matter. It's in the past. You are free. You both are free...
From time to time you might find yourself missing the creature. This is called "overthinking," a common behavior stemming from man's intelligent ape-heritage. The best thing to do if this occurs is to whip out your trusty flask and swig the feelings away. Just swig and swig and swig. For people prone to inordinately high overthinking (known in the animal kingdom as "females"), there is an entire television network dedicated 24/7 to reminding you why the deed had to be done. This is called "Animal Planet," and you can check your local listings, cable provider or TV guide for the channel and program schedule.