I'm serious. Do they benefit the Earth in any way? This sounds grouchy, but it is merely a thought experiment so hear me out.
  1. Do the Olympics make the world more peaceful?
    No. Read the news. People are bombing children's hospitals.
  2. Do they increase peace, love and understanding in the world?
    Not really.
  3. Do they increase peace, love and understanding among the athletes themselves?
    No. The athletes often seem distant and mean to each other. They taunt and trash-talk. And everyone wants to win at the expense of others.
  4. Do the Olympics set up a "we're best, you're worst" situation?
  5. Is it important that we make lists every four years of the "best" humans at various physical activities?
  6. Are "sports" like synchronized diving arbitrary and pointless?
  7. Does skill at the uneven bars have any real-world application whatsoever?
  8. Do the Olympics hurt the economies of the host cities?
    Generally yes
  9. Do the Olympics help Brazil?
  10. Do the Olympic facilities get used after the Olympics end?
  11. Do the 75 countries that have never won a medal ever in the history of the Olympics feel warm and fuzzy sending athletes every time anyway?
    I don't know. Let's assume not. How could they?
  12. Are the Olympics mostly about commercials and commercialism and athletes getting endorsement deals and athletes plastered with corporate logos?
  13. Are we really watching humans use only naturally derived abilities, even ones not pumped full of steroids?
    Debateable. Isn't that weird bruising thing Phelps does still artificial enhancement? Or swimming goggles? Or plastic swimming caps? Did the original Greek Olympians have those? Every athlete nowadays is a kind of cyborg in one way or another.
  14. Is it gross that the entire country of Russia systematically cheated but competed anyway?
  15. Is it gross that the entire country of China has athlete factories that take kids away from parents at young ages to make Olympians out of them?
  16. Does it undermine the supposed spirit of the Olympics to send professional athletes?
  17. Do all national anthems sound the same?
  18. Can only mega-rich countries afford to host the Olympics?
  19. Is all of the flag waving and anthem playing unbearably barfy and nationalistic?
  20. Is it sexist that there is music for women's gymnastics floor exercise but not men's?
  21. Is it sexist that women athletes are expected to be covered in makeup, jewelry and glitter but men aren't?
  22. Is keeping a torch burning for weeks a waste of natural gas?
  23. Are the Olympic broadcasts free to copy and share?
    No. NBC owns the shit out of it all.
  24. Are the Olympic Rings public domain?
    Haha. No. Those are trademarked every which place across the entire world.
  25. Is the Olympic anthem public domain?
    Nope. Copyrighted as Hell.
  26. Are many athletes insufferably narcissistic?
    God yes
  27. Have I been hate-watching every night for hours anyway?