Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 12/17/2023

We start out the week by fomenting revolution. We have this post: 

Typical of posts that ask questions, no one writes an answer, but we all have tangential ideas and advice. But we do have some interesting ideas on how to create a better society. 

One person says, “I mean IN THEORY… if we can take Vashon, we could take Bainbridge… If we can take Bainbridge we can take Kitsap, if we can take Kitsap then we’d be the third largest nuclear power in the world. SOUNDS GREAT IN THEORY.”

I’m curious how becoming a nuclear power will help us create an egalitarian, cooperative society that values life and justice. I understand that having nuclear weapons will make other countries less likely to threaten us, but we still have to deal with the internal threat that is ourselves. 

Someone is mad about the original post, because we take jokes seriously on the internet. They say this, which, even after multiple times reading it, I still don’t totally understand: “The absolute worst time to post and be chickenshit. (Anonymous.) But, Hey. Somebody was “listening.”… SCORE!:”  When asked what they mean, their answer is: “Ummm. You could own it. ❤”   I think they mean we could stop complaining and buy the houses? And that’s precisely the point of the original post. We will steal the vacation homes, and then we will own them, and then people can live in them. We’re all on the same page here. 

The anonymous member responds: “Thank you for the insight and reassurance that anything is possible with the power of believing in myself and more importantly, my community 💞🙏” This is a coherent and deeply cutting passive aggressive comeback. Anonymous poster, with rhetoric like that, I’ll follow you into battle. 

Others who’ve read their Orwell want to know what happens after the revolution. What do we do with the riches we’ve acquired? Do we become the very thing we overthrew, like Robespiere or pigs who walk like men? As one commenter puts it,  “What will you do with all of the avocado toast you pry from those soft bro hands?” 

The poster has thought through this eventuality and says, “as we return to an agrarian society we will have to rebuild the glass houses to sustain a suitable environment and surplus of avocados. You will be the minister of agriculture congratulations we are counting on you”

One commenter asks, “Where do I sign up and can I be promoted to traffic director at the 4 way? I’ll wear an Alice in Wonderland costume and a sign that says stop or go at your own risk…”

Does one side of the sign say ‘stop ‘and the other say ‘go at your own risk’, or is it just a one-sided sign that says ‘stop or go at your own risk’? Either way works for me, I’m just curious. 

The original poster is impressed by the enthusiasm and announces, “I will be reopening the department of licensing and appointing the qualified, experienced and competent individuals of the various roles needed on island. You seem like you have the tendency to lead our department of transportation”

If we’re handing out post-revolutionary roles, please, please make me minister of propaganda. 

A few people in the comments agree to meet “tomorrow ,” and to ride at dawn.  But tomorrow comes and they say, “forgot to set my alarm! “

The original poster remarks, “Don’t worry we are amongst prominent Trotskyists and believe in the necessity of a permanent revolution.”

Some of us let our anger lead us. One says, “I’m for burning a realtor in effigy at the 4-Way … but, I’m already on a Government watch list … and I just got a warning about “community standards,” for posting this.”  There’s space in a revolution for symbolism, for the burning of the old ways, but after the burning, something new needs to be made, or else you end up remaking the same society over again. So how will we create the world we want to live in? 

Or, as one islander puts it, “But what will you do when there’s no landlord to fix stuff for you?”

The poster foresees this brave new world and says: “I guess I’ll have to just paint over the light switches myself then”

Others see the vision of a brighter tomorrow and say, “Yes CHARGE ! First we take Vashon, get control of what ferry boats are left, then we free Maury Island 😉, then we secede from King County! 🤔

Another adds, “Amen and we’re taxing the über rich. Sorry folx, we only do equality in these here parts.”

And one person has this sober take: “Honestly whenever we’re ready. Sure we’ll fail once the military gets in but hell of an obituary”

And once we’ve successfully taken over Vashon, our next target is the sun.

Since we’re a unique community set on forging our own way forward at the beginning of this very disappointing millennium, we need a mascot, a figure to rally behind who can represent us. Luckily, an islander has used ai to generate a true Vashonite. 


This is just the first iteration. They repeatedly add to the prompt until they get an artist who has not had plastic surgery and is knitting while eating blackberries and there are orcas and broccoli and cats.  You can watch the whole video here:

We end up with pictures like this, which I’m pretty sure is just a picture of me without my glasses. 

When the prompter told the AI to remove the boat, on account that our ferry boats hardly ever run and it is their absence that defines us more than their presence, the AI kept adding more boats. I wonder if AI sees a list of words and draws them, but doesn’t understand negation, like if you tell a child “don’t run!”, all they hear is ‘[meaningless dribble] RUN!’

But the people we are rebelling against  at dawn tomorrow want the mascot changed to reflect the very thing we are overthrowing . One says, “Excellent job. Do the boomers in fedoras driving vintage wagons drinking coffee from a cup while rowing and playing lacrosse with seagulls and unicorn horned albino whales. With native americans looking on.”

There’s also a foreshadowing of factions forming in our post-revolutionary future. One commenter says, “Are you kidding … do you really live here … and for how long ? She needs to be wearing farm boots with lots of mud and horse, cow, sheep, chicken poop on them. She’s only shown with cats and orcas. This is what the typical Seattle, Bellevue, California, Vashon wannabe sees herself as the ‘Island Queen.’ Ha-Ha !! Totally absurd !!”

And yet another faction says, “Needs a Subaru station wagon…”

The new Vashon order I want to bring in is a community of cooperation and care that values creativity and whimsy. We have this post by someone who I assume I’ll be fighting beside in the Battle of Morgan Hill. 

Thankfully, there are many islanders ready to help out.One commenter says, “I just saw one out in one of our fields the other day that I can get for you”

Another adds, “I have a kick-ass deer skull with fairly impressive antlers, clean and dry,”

And yet a third says, “I have cow elk skulls. “  This leads another islander to chime in that they want to purchase some of the skulls as well. Perhaps our new future Vashon will have to add animal skulls of various sizes and shapes to our Care Closet. 

Maybe our AI-generated mascot that we will rally around should depict a woman flanked by orcas wearing rain boots and holding  broccoli while choosing between multiple deer skulls. Let’s see what the computer can whip up. 

Dear God, have mercy on us. I fear what this portends for our future.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.