This is a story that shows how deliriously capitalist China has become (for good and bad). Rapid industrialisation has covered northern China in a dense pea soup of toxic chemicals. In the past, the old fashioned communist solution might have been either to ignore the problem or, if people insist on dying, organise the entire country in a “popular war on bourgeois toxins.” But in a post-Mao order, how does China’s elite deal with pollution? Yuppie consumerism.
Chen Guangbiao, an entrepreneur worth $740 million (how, why, and would he like to meet my daughters?) has started selling cans of fresh air for people to crack open and suck in. They go for 5 yuan each and, according to one report, they come with atmospheric flavours including “pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an.” Presumably the “pristine Tibet” can smells ever so slightly of gunpowder.
There’s probably a market for this for anyone frequently subjected to Chuck Schumer’s blasting breath too.