1136: Broken Mirror
Title text: 'I see you're in this mood again.' 'I am always in this mood.'
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It is a common superstition that breaking a mirror will result in 7 years of bad luck. Black Hat is saying the same thing, but in his usual enigmatic way, with "luck" being called "the indifferent hand of probability." He is saying that his breaking the mirror cause him to have the illusion that his action in breaking the mirror will (negatively) influence his luck. He is thus saying that his breaking the mirror will not change his fate in any way. So for him, the seven-year-curse that comes from the broken glass is not having bad luck, but the belief in having bad luck.
"Eccles. 9:2" refers to the Bible book "Ecclesiastes," specifically chapter 9 verse 2 ("All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath." King James 2000 Bible). "My fate is as these shards" parallels Ecclesiastes 3:19: "Man's fate is like that of the animals".
"All is vanity" is also from Ecclesiastes, specifically the introduction to chapter 1. The mirror is often associated with the vice of vanity. There is also a drawing titled "All is Vanity" by Charles Allan Gilbert, which alternately depicts a woman admiring herself at a dressing table, or "vanity," and (when viewed at a distance) a human skull. The table Black Hat is standing at is also called a "vanity," and a mirror associated with that is often referred to as a "vanity mirror", describing its relationship to the furniture.
- [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.
- My fate is as these shards.
- Cueball: Dude, chill. It's just a vanity mirror.
- Black Hat: All is vanity mirrors.