Stretching across the East Coast from Quebec to Georgia, the current cloud of wildfire smoke is a terrifying natural disaster.
But after three years of the pandemic and a gallows-humor attitude to climate change, a lot of people responded to the arrival of hazardous unbreathable air… with memes.
As a smoke cloud engulfed New York City on Wednesday, it quickly attracted two kinds of posts online: Jokes about the yellow-orange sky resembling the much-derided “third world country filter” used by tone-deaf Hollywood movies, and comparisons to sci-fi movies like the dystopian Blade Runner 2049 and Dune.
So we probably shouldn’t be surprised that someone went a step further and actually blasted the Dune music in the middle of NYC, adding some even more ominous ambiance to the cloud of toxic smoke.
@breadgrrl dune promo going a little too crazy #nyc #dune #newyork #dunepart2 #timotheechalamet #zendaya #fyp @DuneMovie ♬ original sound – karina 🪐
Racking up 1.5 million views in less than a day, this post from TikToker @breadgrrl shows someone standing on a fire escape in front of a worryingly orange-beige skyline, likely filmed as the smoke cloud reached peak density.
Holding up a loudspeaker, the TikToker hits play on the wailing vocals and rattling percussion of the Dune score, drowning out the NYC street sounds nearby.
Over in the comments section, people reacted with amusement, calling out the New Yorker’s sense of humor (“Y’all are a deeply unserious city 💀 I love it”) and the disturbing vibes of hearing the Dune music in the wild (“If I heard this on the street I’m TAKING OFF SPRINTING”).
Soon enough it also went viral on Twitter, prompting similar responses: “if i had no idea what dune was and i heard that shit blasting from god knows where in the middle of some apocalyptic smog i’d shit myself several times over.”
Unfortunately, all these dystopian sci-fi references are only going to get more relatable from now on.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @breadgrrl via TikTok comment.