1136: Broken Mirror

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Broken Mirror
'I see you're in this mood again.' 'I am always in this mood.'
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 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.

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The lettering on the first word is unusually sloppy. I thought it said "COPS", as in Black Hat was about to be arrested for breaking the mirror, on the TV show Cops. - Frankie (talk) 11:16, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Yep, I read COPS, too. In another vein, is Black-hat getting all religious on us? Cueball, maybe. Beret guy, more likely. But Black-hat seems to be too machiavellian to quote biblical passages, except as a crutch or an "out". (Edit: now that I think about it, it's the latter: the same fate awaits everybody... as in, everybody will cut their feet on the shards.) -- 20:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Does anyone have an opinion on how Black Hat broke the mirror? If it simply fell from the wall, he would not incur the bad luck. Jsbqvb 15:31, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

I think his point is that it wouldn't matter; there ain't no such thing as bad luck: the same fate awaits everybody. -- 20:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe he did it on purpose, just for that soliloquy at the end (I wouldn't put it past him...).--Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 20:59, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd say so. "My fate is a these shards" ... to cause pain and suffering to all he comes in contact with. -- IronyChef (talk) 06:01, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Time for some more obvious questions, which I dont get! So, why he decided not to tidy it, but to leave shards like that? 05:44, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

What's the significance of the title text? "I am always [something]" rings a faint bell, but I can't place it. Wwoods (talk) 19:49, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

It made me think of "We have always been at war with Eastasia" (from Orwell's 1984) ...but that probably wasn't what Randall meant to evoke. — 22:14, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Could it be the comic where the title text ends with I AM ALWAYS BREATHING MANUALLY (Skynet, comic 1046) 15:18, 21 November 2012‎ (UTC)

"All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that does not sacrifice: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that swears an oath, as he that fears the results of a sworn oath." means: Everyone dies eventually.

If you sweep up the shards you will clean most of them up but will not gather every piece for sure. It looks like you care if you do that though. Black hat has an history of not caring. Not that anyone has the right to interpret what another man writes. Nor should one care so deeply as to do so. Especially not for a bloody comic! I think he was just pointing out that Cueball's statement, though possible, was not necessarily true or untrue. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 14:35, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Given that Black Hat is known to be based on Aram from Men In Hats, this seems relevant: http://meninhats.com/d/20031022.html 03:39, 28 January 2015 (UTC) The rain, it raineth on the just, And also on the unjust fella. But mainly on the just, because The unjust steals the just's umbrella. 05:49, 29 August 2015 (UTC)