In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is supreme, and a one-eyed Jack could become a one-eyed King.
In the Kingdom of the Blind, the eyeglass salesmen go broke while the monocle salesman grows fat with affluence due to his exclusive arrangement with one-eyed King Jack. The royal eye deserves the best after all. A different monocle for every occasion!
The kingdom was not always so blind. Once the people had two eyes to see. But ole King John, cursed by an angry god, was transformed into a cyclops, a one-eyed jack. The King being the leader and exemplar of all the people, it follows that the people could not be better sighted than King Jack, and obviously the supreme monarch could not be inferior to the people. It was a kingdom, after all, a divine and glorious thing, not some scrubby unwashed democracy or identity-crisis republic, and so the people could not be equals to the king.
And so it came to pass that the people were ordered to submit their vision to their King. Their eyes were removed in sundry ways, some surgical and precise, some decidedly less so. Many were scarred by their obedience to King Jack. One-eyed, he leads them, the loyal blind.
How do they recognize him? Can they hear him? Does he announce his coming with trumpets and fanfare? Do the hooves of his horses pound the earth as he approaches? Can they smell him? Is he so awash in perfumes and the odor of royalty that his blind subjects can smell him coming? Can they touch him? Are the people allowed to grope the monarch? Do they lick him to make sure it’s His Majesty?
The five senses minus one become four, four the square, the building block of the cosmos. Four senses become enhanced, compensating for lack in the fifth. The people feel the King. They sense his royal presence whether near or far. They squirm in his goodliness and baste in his essence. When he walks along the filthy streets of the city, women become orgasmic and men spontaneously ejaculate wherever they stand. The blind children follow in the wake of King Jack, keeping safe distance from his terrible aura. When the eyes of the blind roll back in their heads, the kingdom becomes a land of bumbling introverts. They stumble about on the streets and knock into one another. Some wander their way to the edges of the cliff outside town. More than a few blunder into the abyss. King Jack tries to call them back.
The people love King Jack. They clamor to him, clinging blindly to his robes. They rush about in their fanatic love and finally stumble from the heights. Crying out for their king, they grasp his garments and pull him downward.
King Jack plummets to his fate. His final sight is the sky above him and his people around him, falling blind.
In the Kingdom of the Mad, the Sane man is Insane. It’s crazy but it’s true.
(And if we are all insane, then what about you?)
When in Rome, do as Romans do. When among madmen, ibid.