Thursday, June 24, 2010

Midsummer's Night Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Video which has recently come into our possession seems to show an Idyll-Beast among the gathered townspeople at the June 21st (Midsummer Night's) Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce Meeting. The video is of poor quality, the camera shakes and furry fingers occasionally cover the lens. The sound also leaves much to be desired. Some observers note that these people, the members and directors of the local chamber, are always blurry, like Big Foot. The Idyll-Beast, on the other hand, is definitely a HD Beast. So much more detail than you expect.

The meeting's agenda was dedicated to the expulsion hearing of President, Acting Secretary, etc etc. Ken Carlson. Judging by the evidence, the evening was operatic, Wagnerian in its tedium, tension and incomprehensibility. Mimi Lamp, the soprano, wove her piping cries of "you're a lawyer!" into Ken Carlson's solos, and Richmond Blake, an exasperated baritone, provided punctuation. Marshall Smith lead the chorus.

Ken charged that the assembled mob were not lawyers and could not understand the complexities of Chamber by-laws. He also repeatedly questioned their memories. Perhaps he has a point, as members kept interrupting him to ask "What did you say your profession was? We've forgotten!"

Ken at least had one more chance to air the matter of the Town Crier's policy regarding entertainment listings: that only businesses that purchase advertising are included in the weekly entertainment calendar. Allegedly an offer was made to the Chamber directors: free advertising in exchange for the removal of the Chamber's on-line, free-to-all, event calendar. The directors who entered into this negotiation became, in Ken's eyes, villains in the service of the paper's "rich British masters."

The video unfortunately breaks off before the denouement (that's french for "conclusion") but news has trickled out that the coup was successful and Ken has been removed. Participants were heard chanting "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" as they headed across the highway for refreshments. Later, tipsy revelers were seen performing a strangely familiar dance around a hastily erected Beast Pole.

A corner would seem to have been turned, a chapter closed, but the story is not over. Ken has promised a kind of
Götterdämerung of litigation, a Twilight of the gods of lawsuits that will drag the Town Crier into an abyss of debt and disgrace, forcing them to fire their staff to pay an army of lawyers to fend of his lawsuits. Soon enough we'll all be thinking of fire; at least we'll have that in common. Some researchers have come to the conclusion that Ken became President of the Chamber of Commerce by wishing on a cursed monkey paw. Or a faux paw. One question remains: does he have any wishes left?

All this brings us to the Idyll-Beast at the Midsummer's Night Chamber of Commerce Meeting. One explanation for the Beast's presence is that he (or she, did any one see?) was there to fulfill an ancient covenant or, as we say today, "Contract and Licensing Agreement." The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce has a foundation myth. It is a tale of bargains struck with forces, like Commerce, powerful beyond our reckoning. Blood oaths, secret handshakes, arcane symbols embedded in our community.

The covenant states that a Director, upon being removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the Board , is to be handed over to the local Idyll-Beasts. In the old days they said the expelled directors were dragged off and eaten. We live in kinder gentler times, or at least more euphonious ones. Now-a-days we speak of "being invited to a repurposing workshop" or just "recycling." But it seems something went wrong Monday night and the Beast left early, without Carlson. Maybe he didn't like what he saw, or smelled. The Beasts are said to have discriminating palattes.

Will there be new rules? Will the Idyll-Beast care? We can only wonder, and the Beasts are probably wondering too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

If a Beast tweets in the forest, will anyone follow?

Dear readers, I apologize for my recent silence. It is not for want of material, but rather the overwhelming abundance of new developments that have demanded my attention. For the faithful I provide "Beast Briefs," updates on the multifarious activities of the Beast and the Research Center.

* Our Twitter-Beast project will now allow humans all over the world to follow the Idyll-Beast. The project has been kept under wraps until now. A number of Idyll-Beasts (all volunteer of course) were tested for digital dexterity, tech skills and literary style. Eventually one candidate was presented with a mobile device that will allow the twittering multitudes to better understand a Beast. Science marches on. Bubbles the chimp's got nothing on you, Idy. Follow the results at

* The Idyll-Beast Festival and Parade planning commission has been working with Festival Sponsors to provide a weekend-long Extravaganza of Infotainment and Fun for the whole family. The theme will be "The Beast is Among Us." The parade contingent will meet at the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe Saturday Morning July 3rd. We will join the parade and meet up with the Cafe Aroma group, adding a little shag to their theme "Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Idyllwild." Any one wishing to participate can e-mail us at or just show up. It is a bring your own beast affair, although some fur will be available. I'd like to take this opportunity to send out a special invitation to misses Idyll-Beast past and present to bring it on down. If you still have your furry crowns and scepters bring them. If not, we will provide suitable and historically accurate reproductions. Once a queen of the Idyll-Beast Festival, always a queen. I will soon post a list of events at the various venues during the festival weekend.

*The Museum and Gift Shoppe survived our first "going out of bussiness sale" and continues to provide retail community outreach. Until the Chamber of Commerce gets back on its feet we will do our best to fulfill the function of visitor's center as we enlighten and entertain the lucky lost who find us. New products include Idyll-Beast Research Center fridge magnets, a new shipment of postcards, and more furry "Beastern Standard Time" clocks. We still have tee-shirts, Beastiopathic remedies, Li'l Researcher Adventure Play Sets, and the usual assortment of debris you'd expect to find in a cave inhabited by furry hominids who love music. sports, books and fur.

Thank you again for the love you all have shown for the Beast. This year's Idyll-Beast Festival promises to be the best ever.