Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 06/02/2024

This week we get political. We start with this post: 

Arguing and posturing on Facebook is the best way to enact positive change. So what change do we want to make? That’s never made clear. But we know what pisses us off. 

We have this point: “Haha. Yeah. Always love how we white folks loooooove the land acknowledgement. But when indigenous people try to open up a treatment center on the island, the white people are like… ‘Not near -my- land. What?!’ Sting a little? It should.”

I don’t know if the people with the Swiftwater signs are the same as the people with the Fire Jayapal signs, but the point is clear. If you want to make reparations, they have to be more than symbolic. 

Someone asks, “Are you referring to the Romans taking my ancestors’ lands? Or maybe when the Vikings kidnapped and raped my great great great great grandmother?”

That is the one thing this post isn’t referring to. This is finding a reason to be mad when something isn’t about you. 

Someone asks, “is this what AI spits out when you enter “Condescending White Liberal”?”

It’s not, but I put ‘condescending white liberal’ into an AI image generator and got these: 

“We need to establish a student loan debt forgiveness program for Pell Grant recipients who start a business that operates for three years in disadvantaged communities.“

Our next political debate is a blast from the past. As one person says, “This rant is so 2020.”

I don’t wear a mask for political reasons. My face is just ugly. 

Also, what’s the connection between masking and voting? Are people wearing masks that say, “I Like Ike?”  If they made a mask with these slogans on it, I would wear it: 

One person offers an alternative to mask wearing: “If you prefer, I can cough on you.”

When they are then accused of inciting violence and threatening to commit a crime, they clarify,  “Mama always said sharing is caring, except for germs, so wearing a mask when feeling icky is POLITE, not political.”  Phew! It turns out they were exaggerating to make a point rather than making a threat against a person who posted anonymously. Good thing they clarified that because no one would ever have been able to figure that out from context. 

And since we’re litigating fights from the past, we return to an evergreen argument. The biggest political rift on island is between two parties who can broker no compromise. They are team outdoor cats vs team indoor cats. 

We have this post, quoting some organization I’ve never heard of, but they have Science in their name, so they must be legit.

I looked up IFLScience, and it turns out they’re a pop science website with such stories as “Why Do So Many Ancient Roman And Greek Statues Have No Noses?” and “Human Penises Are Getting Bigger At A Fast Rate, But That Might Not Be A Good Thing” So yeah, they can be trusted for information about how best to keep cats in every situation and environment. 

Some outdoor cat people respond to the poster that keeping cats indoors is unnatural. One says, “Natural selection is part of nature. You can’t take a wild animal and demand it not be anymore. I’m sure you’re against seaworld. Why would you want that for your cat?”

I don’t want Seaworld for my cat, but mostly because my cat hates water. 

Others point out that house cats are no longer natural. They were domesticated thousands of years ago. 

But some don’t see that as an excuse. One says, “Them being domesticated does not equate to them needing to be kept inside under lock and key. They’re still animals and do not have a voice to tell you what they want, so quit assuming your cat is a pussy and let ‘em be a cat.”

My cat has a voice and tells me what he wants all the time. You just need to learn to distinguish which meow means “put more food in my bowl, for I can see the bottom,” and which meow means, “I desire to bite the dog’s eyeballs. Bring him to me so that I may hunt.” 

The indoor cat people have this rebuttal: “So you’re ok with your cats getting eaten by coyotes?”

The shocking answer to this question from an outdoor cat person is: “I am 100% ok with nature and natural selection, and I believe if you read what I wrote, you’d have seen that and know it. But here I am again, stating it. So, you’re welcome. I’ve done your leg work.”

Another adds, “Unless you live in a castle, indoor-only cats become neurotic, pissing on the walls and tearing shit up. Outlawed, gimme a fucking break. Let your cat ‘cat’ and if he gets eaten by someone further up the food chain, then c’est la vie. Let the cats cat.”

The poster responds, “ I hope you’re not adopting more cats everytime you lose them to coyotes.”

Hey, someone’s got to keep VIPP in business. 

Some people are just mad that others are telling them what to do. One says, “This is so silly to me😆 Never seen a community more up and arms about what others should be doing with themselves and their animals.”

Another agrees. They say, “It’s pretty shocking. Used to be a real live and let live place.”

Someone explains why things have changed. They say, “There were zero coyotes in the 70’s and 80’s on Vashon. And probably for many years after that, too. But back then, it was common to see people driving trucks with gun racks in their back window, too.”

/*movie trailer voice*/  There was a time when we were free: letting our pets out, leaving our doors open for them. Then the coyotes showed up. Now we lock our doors and stay inside.

/*dramatic movie trailer music plays*/  Until one day a hero arrived. 

Ai prompt: condescending white  liberal woman Democrat in a Biden T-shirt fighting a coyote and saving a cat
Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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