Smog

It‘s a smoggy day today here in Shanghai, which I always kind of like. Obvious adverse health effects aside, from the first time I visited China in 2016 and experienced the air pollution, I always have felt like there’s something magical about it. A smoggy day feels different from a cloudy day or a foggy day, in a way I can‘t quite describe. The coloring is different, the way the sun pierces through is different, the way buildings in the distance dissolve into the smog is different, etc. I’m not trying to start a Hot Takes thread here where I try to argue that air pollution is Actually A Good Thing – but it‘s a weather phenomenon I didn’t grow up with, and therefore I‘m fascinated by it every time I see it. I’ve of course only experienced Smog Lite, so I'm sure my fascination with it would be quickly exhausted if I had to experience on a daily basis the levels of smog that were prevalent 10-20 years ago.

What are some examples of smog and air pollution in media?

The first that comes to mind for me is FLCL, which takes place in a very normal city that is always smoggy ever since the Medical Mechanica building was constructed:
[img]https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/flcl/images/c/ca/BD_720p_8743569210.png/[/img]

As someone who is professionally employed full-time to educate people about the dangers of air pollution and mobilize people in support of cleaner air, I can't really support the glamorization of air pollution.

That said, I was invited one time to participate in [an art exhibition in a local museum highlighting paintings of air pollution](https://carnegiemuseums.org/carnegie-magazine/summer-2019/impressions-of-urban-beauty/). A few of the paintings really struck me (and I've never really been a big paintings guy). There's a Monet that I guess is somewhat famous. [URL=https://i.imgur.com/MwjM9uK.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/MwjM9uK.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

I really like this one too, which is by someone named Johanna Hailman. This mill was located just a few miles from my house. This one not only captures the color and volume of the pollution, it also has some interesting work with light and has that home in the foreground. It feels honest and somewhat foreboding, so maybe this is my bias showing again.
[URL=https://i.imgur.com/IXbIai5.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/IXbIai5.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

In games, of course, there's the grime of Midgar in _Final Fantasy VII._ These churning smoke stacks really evoke a particular feeling.
[URL=https://i.imgur.com/9GzPTWN.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/9GzPTWN.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

I got a kick out of _Yakuza: Like a Dragon_'s jokes about how polluted the river was.

There's also the fog in _Persona 4_, which isn't exactly smog/pollution, but does give the game a very mysterious and eerie feeling, so it feels adjacent to this prompt.

I'm very curious about what everyone else comes up with here.

An Elephant Sitting Still is the first thing I thought of

@“deepspacefine”#p111316 Yeah, I definitely don‘t want to glamorize it. I probably shouldn’t say I “like” it. It‘s just, growing up in an area where air pollution wasn’t enough of an issue to be visible, it was a strange feeling actually experiencing it for myself for the first time that I continue to be struck by. A part of that is the foreboding feeling, though there‘s also a strange beauty (?) to it. I don’t know how to describe it. I think the paintings you shared get at some of that. Other weather like clouds or snow isn't a direct result of human activity, whereas just the mere existence of smog actually means something, instead of just being a neutral state.

Something it reminds me of is that line in Chrono Trigger where ||you go back to present after escaping Zeal and your mom comments on how beautiful the Black Omen is glittering in the sun, this sinister machine only you the player know the origin of.||

If some sister or mother characters from Murakami‘s novels could break saddleblasters’s ribs,he would be so much happy,that's what his "like"means in this thread.

I know what you mean about smoggy, hazy days. It's a vibe.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/rif70cw.png][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/rif70cw.png[/IMG][/URL]

Also J.M.W, Turner paintings give very smoggy aesthetics. It's interesting because he was around pre-industrial and very early industrialization, and the way he uses light and color seems to be influenced by experiencing pollution and the changing landscape of things. Also he is played wonderfully by Timothy Spall in the Mike Leigh film, Mr. Turner.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/WutxPE2.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/WutxPE2.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/roKI898.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/roKI898.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Paintings by Turner and Monet depict trends in 19th century air pollution, study conducted by PNAS hehehe

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@“connrrr”#p111338 study conducted by PNAS hehehe

@tapevulture

@“TarpeianRock”#p111342

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@“connrrr”#p111338 study conducted by PNAS hehehe

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/9kO5CMu.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/9kO5CMu.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

@tapevulture

I am laughing WAY too much at PNAS and PMIS all up in the Smog Thread

hehehehe

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@“Gaagaagiins”#p111836 I am laughing WAY too much at PNAS and PMIS all up in the Smog Thread

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/E2qONGm.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/E2qONGm.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

@“TarpeianRock”#p111845 my two remaining brain cells