An open-air screening of a controversial Chinese documentary on the country's smog problem was cancelled yesterday, as the audience were unable to see the screen. Because of all the smog.
"It's extremely frustrating", said the director of the film, Under the Dome. "How are we expected to raise awareness of smog when everything is surrounded by smog?"
"Last week we tried to stage a march to increase awareness of air pollution, but the smog was so thick that everyone got lost and ended up wandering off in different directions. I was marching for four hours before I realised I'd somehow ended up in the cereal aisle of a massive Wal-Mart. One of my mates wound up walking straight into the Great Wall, and another group went so far off-route they're now living in Tibet, where apparently the air is much nicer."
At a public speech in Shanghai's Century Park yesterday, one activist summed up the mood when he said: "For too long this country has... (coughing) overlooked the... (wheezing) sorry, I... (spluttering) I think I need help. I can't breathe."
With words as powerful as these, it would be hard for the government to keep ignoring these activist events. If it wasn't for all the smog, that is.