1136: Broken Mirror
Title text: 'I see you're in this mood again.' 'I am always in this mood.'
It is a common superstition that breaking a mirror will result in 7 years of bad luck. Black Hat mocks the superstition, claiming that all is random, but ultimately cause it to be true due to his nihilistic apathy preventing him from cleaning up the shards of glass. The joke is that Black Hat will likely get glass in his feet, and the broken mirror, or at least Black Hat's inaction will have an impact.
Black Hat breaks a mirror and sarcastically claims that it will bring bad luck for 7 years, implying that the broken mirror will have no impact on his life. After Cueball reminds Black Hat that the broken mirror will at least cause him to clean up the glass. Black Hat responds with a quote from Ecclesiastes that explains "being clean" (doing good) or "being unclean" (doing bad) things does not affect whether good or bad things happen to us. Due to Black Hat's interpretation of Ecclesiastes, he is not going to clean the shards, and thus be "unclean", and feels nihilistic that this will not alter his life in the long term. Of course, in the short term, it will have an impact as he will get glass in his feet if he does not clean it.
Black Hat continues saying that "My fate is as these shards" this mirrors another quote from Ecclesiastes "For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals". Cueball tries to cheer up black hat by reminding him that life is not that bad, "it's just a vanity mirror". Black hat responds saying " All is vanity mirrors". "All is vanity" another quote from Ecclesiastes, this line is repeated throughout the book and refers to impermanence of man and his creations. As the mirror just broke, its impermanence is apparent.
In the title text Cueball says "I see you're in this mood again" to which Black Hat responds, "I am always in this mood". This is a reference to Black Hat being a nihilist in his other appearances.
- [Black Hat and Cueball stand in a bedroom. There is a broken mirror on the floor at Black Hat's feet.]
- Black Hat: Oops. Guess this means seven more years of the illusion that my actions somehow influence the indifferent hand of probability which governs our lives.
- [Black Hat looks down at the broken shards of glass on the floor.]
- Cueball: Plus like half an hour of sweeping.
- Black Hat: No, I think I'll leave it.
- Cueball: You'll get glass in your feet.
- Black Hat: Eccles. 9:2—All things come alike to all: to the clean, and to the unclean.
- Black Hat: My fate is as these shards.
- Cueball: Dude, chill. It's just a vanity mirror.
- Black Hat: All is vanity mirrors.