Life advice from the experts.

Why is the sky blue?

Blue SkyA popular question – but one, frankly, that troubles us for a number of reasons. Here’s why.

Firstly, there are lot of so-called “scientific” explanations for what’s going on here. Be warned: most of them only have a fleeting relationship with reason and the contempt that drips from them is leaving stains on our cowboy boots.

We should all be very severe with people who propagate retrograde blather like this. We think it’s truly diseased, and if you really care, you’ll write to your local MP and ask these cretins to be bussed to the Northern Beaches where they can die slowly in the sun.

Slip slop slap

Here’s one, somewhat desperate answer, we found online: “Sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light. When we look towards the sun at sunset, we see red and orange colours because the blue light has been scattered out and away from the line of sight.”

We have a bit of a truck with that mumbo-jumbo. Its not just the smug air of superiority – the certain swagger in it air of confidence – nor the fact that it’s mostly pretty accurate that offends us … it’s that it fails to get to the nub of the matter.

An answer like that one fails the questioner.

Shlunk tells it like it is

First of all, what comes implicitly with the question “Why is the sky blue?” is that the sky is indeed some kind of implacably aqua-marine shiney thing.

And that this is utter crap is writ large on a daily basis. The sky isn’t fucking blue. It hasn’t been for a couple of weeks, I’d say, over my place – or at least it hasn’t been any time when I’ve been awake. Which is more less most of the arvo (except Sundays).

Today, for example, I am looking out my window at a very banal grey-ish, white-ish wash … perhaps with a slight tinge of sour colouring as a result of some nearby bushfire. It’s a hue about as vital and arresting as a smudge of urine drying on the front of a pair of beige corduroys.

Of course, it can get much worse than that.

In certain parts of outback Australia, as a result of dust-storms caused by soil-erosion, the sky can be a permanent shade of brown for literally fucking years on end.

Living in perpetual brown blankness, devoid of points of reference, the locals find it difficult to tell north from south, up from down, back from front and therefore invariably ostracise themselves with outmoded poetic forms (recalling British Romanticism, for instance) and accidentally commit themselves to certain artistic imperatives which went out of vogue in the 70s.

Eeesh embarrassing

This so-called “Earth-Sky inversion” is also in evidence in metropolises such as Los Angeles, where (apparently) the sky is invariably black and has been known to catch fire if people swear at it.

Why so blue?

The bottom-line is, if the sky is blue, you’re right there – kiddo – in the midst of a damn good day. You’re going to be fine and the atmosphere is not likely to melt your face. The wind has picked up and blown all the smog and ash and pigeon shit out to sea or to some other misbegotten place (presumably where it will lurk obstinately around like a dead cockroach in a bath drain-hole).

That you are questioning “why it is so”, suggests a certain passivity – why are you using a beautiful day outside to type pretty inconsequential questions into Google?


A blue sky day is a rare thing and you should embrace it because, frankly, they are going out of style.

Hence the well-used expression “Why don’t we blue-sky this” means typically “hey guys, let’s just come up with any old thing right now because I’ve got better things to do than sit around getting mouldy in this meeting room and frankly my balls are aching to leave.”

Shed your clothes, people, crack open a bottle of white wine, and dance.

Just dance

Stop staring at the sky and wondering why it’s blue – why not celebrate the last vestiges of beauty this planet has to offer before its turns into big ball of brown snot readied to be picked by the big man from beyond.

For more blue-sky thinking from Shlunk – stay tuned!


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This entry was posted on January 13, 2013 by in Definitions, Life advice and tagged , .
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