Cripping the Middle Ages, Medievalizing Disability Theory
The University of Michigan Press, (2010)
This event shocks modern readers with its calculated cruelty toward and humiliation of the four blind men, who are called upon to “perform” their blindness in a contest focused less on the killing of the pig than on the injuries that they will inflict on each other. And this was an expensive, care-fully planned production, requiring not only a pig but a painted banner and a drum. The ritualistic procession, complete with percussion, evidently served as banns to advertise the next day’s competition and draw a crowd. Equally shocking, however, is the chronicler’s rather disengaged tone as he recounts the event. His strongest response to it is his implicit gratitude to- ward the sighted organizers for not giving the blind men more lethal weapons, because evidently he believes that the blind, being blind and not knowing any better, would have fought to the death.