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-Top Golf opened its first South Florida location late last year in Miami Gardens.
-The massive facility has proven to be a hit with locals who want a twist on a classic game.
-The company says that over 500 people work at the location, which is located near the Golden Glades Interchange.
-Over a 10 year period, the Miami Gardens location is expected to have a $25 million economic impact on the region.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Mariam Ansar
For the reader, whether partial to the Young Adult genre or not, John Green’s name is a familiar one.
Recognizable film titles like The Fault In Our Stars and more recently, Paper Towns are easy sentimental watches for many, based on Green’s meandering narratives of young people juggling life-threatening diseases, big swelling crushes on the girl next door, and generally attempting to survive life with all the emotions of your common teenager.
Green’s success as a writer is one which has enabled him to have two of his books translated to film already, and with another prospectively in the works, many now place him as the face of Young Adult literature.
Whether it’s the realism that is seen as relatable in his writing, or the fact that his fame partly derives from Green’s Internet presence, creating educational videos with his brother under the name Vlogbrothers, there’s no getting around the fact that John Green’s name is one which is either greeted with contempt, or adoration.
Teenagers have no qualms listing Green alongside J.K Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Stephenie Meyer. While his books are not so widely renowned as the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, or The Twilight Saga- some see this as indicative of substance.
Green’s books feature stand-out lines readers of his find relatable and inspiring at the same time. To search his name on any social media source is to come face to face with this outpour. But exactly what is it about this man’s writing which has propelled him to book-to-film fame? To be hailed as a permanent, important member of the Young Adult genre?
Before and alongside Green’s writing, chock-full of painful love, identity crises and existential doubts that plague his intelligent-pretentious-boy-protagonists, there existed, and exists, a treasure trove of Young Adult books and writers who delve into those exact same feelings.
Dessen was given one shot at the silver screen when two of her novels were combined to produce the 2003 rom-com How To Deal.
Rosoff’s How I Live Now, a staple of formative reading experiences as a recurrent feature in classroom book collections and libraries, took 9 years to reach the big screen.
“It is no surprise that the Young Adult genre is dominated by women writers. To place Green on a pedestal then, is to reinforce the notion that the creative white male voice is the most important.”
This isn’t to say that the measure of a book’s success, the integration of it as a frontrunner of the Young Adult genre, relies on whether it has been converted into a film or not. It is merely significant to note exactly the size of Green’s cultural impact and how the cinematic treatment of his books bookends this. The truth is, Green’s writing being centralised as the most prominent of the Young Adult genre in the minds of teenagers and teachers feels unfair, and a little sexist.
After the release of The Fault In Our Stars in 2014, The Wall Street Journal was happy to congratulate Green in “ushering in a new golden era for contemporary, realistic, literary teen fiction following more than a decade of dominance by books about young wizards, sparkly vampires and dystopia.“
Now that Paper Towns is out and talks on Looking For Alaska’s screen-time are rumoured, that ‘new golden era’ looks to be continuing. But actually, there is nothing new about this golden era. Where book editors are looking for ‘contemporary realism’, relatable characters after what some call ‘the John Green effect’, writers of important teenage discourse, Anderson’s Speak, Dessen’s Dreamland, Blume’s entire track record, are shoved to the background, ignored despite their effort to communicate important experiences like body issues, mental illness, sexual and physical abuse, alongside relatable characters. Contemporary realism at its ignored best.
It is unfair to also argue that the genre, as diverse as it is, is only valuable if it is solely realistic. Books about young wizards, sparkly vampires and dystopia do not feature somehow superficial sentiments if the character in goofy infatuation also happens to wield a wand or if the girl struggling to save the life she knows is living in a dystopia which, actually, may not be so dystopian depending on which part of the world one lives in. To take this view of the Young Adult genre is to erase the significant triumphs of many books and their effects on the consciousness of young people.
“crucially, YA books present the teenage perspective in a fundamentally uncritical way.”
It is this perspective which is truly indicative of the Young Adult genre and which deserves to be lauded, whether it is by Green or by his contemporaries.
Alongside those I have mentioned previously, Meg Cabot, Malorie Blackman, Lois Lowry, and many more equally deserve to be congratulated for well-written analyses of the teenage experience, of teenage emotion, whether they have the Internet, book agents, and Hollywood idolizing them or not.
It is no surprise that the Young Adult genre is dominated by women writers. To place Green on a pedestal then, is to reinforce the notion that the creative white male voice is the most important.
It is to, as literary tradition makes the mistake of doing and despite both their valued contributions to literature, cast aside Austen’s voice for Salinger’s. To portray the male narrative as a bildungsroman with all the integrity we afford men speaking and to cast off the female narrative as YA self-satisfying trash, just one part of a much bigger pile.
Green himself seems to be aware of the issues surrounding discourse on the genre. He said the following on his Youtube show, as quoted by The Atlantic:
“From a pop culture perspective, or a general media perspective, there can only be one thing…. There can only be paranormal romance, there can only be dystopia, or now, there can only be The Fault in Our Stars. But it’s not the truth, that isn’t the way the actual world of YA books looks or has ever looked.
“To me, the real story of young adult literature is not actually about whatever the big cultural book of the moment is. The real story of young adult literature is that more than a thousand books are read by at least ten thousand teenagers a year, that we have incredible breadth, that we have great dystopia and great fantasy, great sci-fi, great mystery, great romances, and all of that stuff can live together and be in conversation because they all – we all – share the same shelf.”
So it is important to recognize that the general media perspective is not the one we should consistently place value in. When it comes to something as immersive, as personal, as the reading experience, it may be beneficial to pay attention to the reading trends, but it is a significant move to take stock of the whole shelf.
It is the shelf which is the most important feature of a teenager’s love of literature, and if that literature is mostly of the YA genre, it may feature John Green’s writing- and may also feature the writing of many, many others.
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By Joy Pamnani
HONG KONG- The Wukan protests have hit global news headlines over the past few weeks, and yet many people, still don’t have a good idea of what it is all about.
The controversy seems to have begun in 2011, and it is certainly complicated.
But in this piece, we’re just boiling it down to the basics.
What sparked the protests?
Back in September 2011, the Wukan protests began as a result of land sales disputes in the Chinese coastal village.
Protestors argue that corrupt government officials got involved in land sales in the region without properly compensating villagers for their land that was sold.
Protests soon erupted, and clashes between the police and villagers left dozens wounded.
The movements grew in scale when a protest leader in police custody died in December 2011, as villagers forced the entire local government, Communist Party leadership and police out of the village.
Why is Wukan known as the “democracy village” experiment?
Wukan became known as China’s democracy village after villagers were granted the right to vote for officials following protests in 2011.
The term “democracy village” comes as many of China’s villages are state-controlled.
The country has started to introduce grassroots democracy for its villagers, and Wukan is a place people see the impacts of democracy in China, akin to an experiment.
What brought the issue into the spotlight again recently?
Protests have been on-and-off for the past few years, as villagers call for an eradication of corruption and better protection of land rights in China.
Authorities, on the other hand, have sent police and troops to crack down on the protests.
Clashes have continued.
WATCH: BBC News Report from Wukan in June, 2016
One of the elected village leaders, Lin Zuluan, was looked up to by many villagers in his fight against land seizures.
In June, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment facing bribery charges after he drafted a letter to the government demanding an end to corruption.
Lin released a taped confession, admitting to his crimes.
However, villagers believed his confession was forced and began marching along the streets, calling on authorities to release him.
If corruption is prevalent in China, why is this one of the only few uprisings we’ve seen so far?
Many mass movements have been a result of corruption, yet mainland media censorship stops information about protests that get out of hand.
While most people think the news was spread as a result of large-scale of demonstrations, experts believe it had to do with villagers’ intentions of making the news circulate around the world.
“The protestors in Wukan were very smart and invited international media outlets to broadcast the story,” Chen Xi, an Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong told RISE NEWS in an interview.
Yuan Weishi, a retired historian from the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, told the New York Times that geographical factors also play a role in Wukan’s mass coverage.
Guangdong is China’s wealthiest and most liberal province, and its citizens tend to look at uncensored news reports from Hong Kong, where people enjoy a higher degree of political freedom.
“People in Guangdong watch Hong Kong TV, rarely China Central Television, and so have a better understanding of civil society and the rule of law,” Weishi said, in a telephone interview with the New York Times back in 2011.“Being exposed to the Hong Kong media in their daily lives gives Guangdong people a better understanding of how the media works and what they can do.”
Hong Kong people held a democracy movement called the Umbrella Revolution two years back, and they didn’t receive as much backlash from the government. Why so?
Before going into comparisons, it’s important to understand the political context involved when comparing Hong Kong and Wukan.
Deciding whether or not to stop demonstrations in Wukan and Hong Kong don’t share the same dimensions in decision-making.
“Hong Kong was a British colony, and got handed over to China in 1997. The city has a considerable amount of autonomy, and a crackdown is an important decision related to national sovereignty,” Chen Xi told RISE NEWS. “An incident like Wukan is only a local matter.”
What’s in store for China’s democracy scene in the years to come?
Well, different experts have different thoughts on the issue.
According to a New York Times interview with Johan Lagerkvist, a professor at Stockholm University, Lagerkvist believes the Wukan incident will discourage the spread of democracy in China.
“It is now unlikely that other villages in China would adopt democracy in the mold of Wukan.” he said in the article.
However, Professor Chen Xi begs to differ, as grassroots democracy has spread well over China, as officials begin to embrace the concept of self-governance.
“Wukan is not a good model for democracy in China,” Chen Xi said. “Many elected officials have taken good care of their villages and I believe grassroots democracy will spread.”
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The College Football Playoff committee has set up the two games that will decide who plays for the national championship.
Top ranked Clemson will play fourth ranked Oklahoma while second ranked Alabama will take on third ranked Michigan State.
The Playoff is set. See you on New Year’s Eve! pic.twitter.com/jDLBXiRg56
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 6, 2015Loading ...
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