Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Clickbait vs Integrity: A critical analysis of Lani Wendt Young's cyber content

This post below is something I thought hard about, and I know it will offend those mentioned, but I feel if I keep it to myself any longer, I will lose more of my goddess aura., so here I go.

I've been following and admiring Lani Wendt Young's work and passion for the last few years, and having met her many moons ago, I was quite thrilled when I stumbled across her blog when she was in Samoa, I thought, "Yuss! she's armayyshing, totally stalking her!"
and stalk - I did.
She wrote lovely posts about her family, her fab 5, cooking disasters and her hot man.
Funny stuff from an intelligent woman.
Loved her blog.

Then she published her Galu Afi book and I was over the moon.
It was a wonderful way to share about the incredible and heart-breaking stories of those who survived it. I loved it. And I read and reread my copy while I wept. Then I lent it to Wanz and I"M STILL WAITING FOR IT TO COME BACK! Savaii borrowing right thurr.

And from there, she wrote more books which I have proudly supported and shared about and boasted to students about.


Lani then commanded and continues to command cyberspace/social media circles. She travelled to promote her books and shared her learnings with aspiring writer all over. Genius.

But what I admired the most about Lani, is her passion for a cause. Whatever cause it may be.

Women, West Papua, Rainbow community, children, Violence against women, her position on the Mormon church decisions, etc etc etc etc etc etc.

Then she started a wonderful page which has great content and issues which I loved reading about, advocacy, feminism, giving voice to different perspectives and much more. Samoa Planet! Interesting read!

Then, something horrible happened:

I developed Lani-fatigue.
I got tired of reading about bad mom updates and of the same rhetoric over and over. I got tired of the different causes and I felt like screaming "FFS, choose a cause and stand by it!" but instead, I did none of that stuff, I just simply, unfollowed Lani and I told my conscience that maybe in a wee while, after a break, my tolerance will improve and I will appreciate Lani's updates again.

While I was on my break, a post on Samoa Planet was shared and it had hilarious content about going out in Samoa. Riveting reading up until the point where, without naming the person, she was very clearly described. Wow.

So my question became: If you are such an advocate for women, how could you let an opinion piece which singles out a woman and to an extent, ridicule her get past you? That's something which really saddened me.

I pondered, in our fixation for likes and clicks, how far will we go?

Having read the SVSG debacle recently, I realised something, Lani's passion for sharing this issue overrides the need for a balanced story. Are there ethics that bloggers must abide by or are those only reserved for journalists?

I am reflecting back now to Lani's earlier content on social media and I miss the days where she was writing for herself and unfazed with how many people were reading her words.
She was so much more readable then.
Now, it feels like she writes with an army of admirers watching,....minus me.

I still respect Lani in her conviction and bold courageous stance, but something about her online actions recently has meant she is one admirer down.

Thankfully, I am only one, and she has thousands of adoring fans all over the globe.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Tuiga Season is here - or rather, the beginning is here

Photo credit: Yvette SJ.
Each year, in the lead up to Polyfest and Pasifika, I send a message to people in my networks here that if they want tuiga for Polyfest, to contact me well in advance.

yeah sure, they said.

Then, 2 weeks before Polyfest, I get loads of stressed out parents calling wanting stuff at the last minute.

So please please, if you're a taupou or manaia for Polyfest and you want a tuiga, then
please contact me before end of Feb or sooner so you won't be disappointed.
I can't accept requests on the week of Polyfest (for my own sanity).

Some of my previous work:



All images are mine unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Samoan kids got for Christmas

We got sent this pic of our nephew J, with his kaavale akigi apa in Niue. We used to love these in Savaii, coolest toy ever, made of tinned cans, sticks and a bit of fire for the exhaust.

Malepe loa le budget ....choohoooo!