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Book cover for "Fans" by Larry Olmsted
Algonquin Books

Knee-deep into March Madness – we are going to talk about life as a sports fan. Do you spend weekends obsessing over your team’s wins and losses? Do you constantly check your fantasy basketball scores and buy jerseys of your favorite players?

Why do we care so much about sports, and how does being a fan effect our lives? In his new book, "Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding," award-winning journalist Larry Olmsted, makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health, the more meaningful your relationships, and the better connected and happier you are.

Using brand new research and exclusive interviews with fans and experts around the world, Olmsted presents a game-changing look into why being a fan is good for us both as individuals and as a society.

Named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT, Douglas Rushkoff is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. The host of the popular "Team Human" podcast, Rushkoff has written twenty books. His latest is "Team Human," a manifesto on his most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature.

In it, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: “Being social may be the whole point.”


  The new documentary STEP shares the story of three young women in the first graduating class at Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and their experiences with school, their families, boyfriends, friends, and their Step team.

 

Pushed to succeed by devoted teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches and themselves, they chase their dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college.

 

STEP which won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at Sundance this year, will have its Massachusetts premiere as the opening night film at the Berkshire International Film Festival -- screening tonight at 6pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington.

 

The film is directed by Amanda Lipitz who joins us.