The London Olympics are a festival of athletics for athletics’ sake, a carefully choreographed celebration of branding, and an international pissing contest among global powers. They are all about pageantry and control—for the duration of the games, London has essentially transformed itself into a totalitarian state. Anthems will be played, what would normally be an unseemly amount of nationalistic chest-beating will be allowed, and at the end of it, the countries with the most money to blow on training programs will emerge at the top of the medal leaderboard. You can be upset by any or all of this, or proud, but by the end you’ll almost certainly be tired by the whole fucking thing. That’s because the Olympics are amazingly boring.