Ball games, later evolving to a concept called ball sports, have become million dollar industries since humanity first discovered the joy of moving round objects with their extremities or with equipment designed for this.
Throughout history ball games have always been popular. Ancient Mayans played a violent game similar to basketball called Pok-a-Tok, where the players were not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or feet while trying to get the ball through a vertically fixed loop above. The Chinese played a similar game to soccer called Cuju which dated back to 1600 BC. The Ethiopian Genna could be considered as the predecessor of field hockey while Ancient Greeks played a ball game called Episkyros in the 5th century BC.
The idea of using balls as a form of entertainment is not that surprising considering the ball-shape to be perfect as it rolls on the ground upon impact, adding a hint of unpredictability to the game depending on the momentum and the players’ skills. Secondly, thanks to aerodynamics, a ball can also be guided much more easily than any other shape and this skill can be improved by training. Lastly, the ball-shape is safe; it does not have sharp edges, pointy ends or damaging looks. It’s as smooth as it can be, even in high velocity. A ball can hit a player countless times and it still won’t do any kind of damage to players (See Dodgeball) (I am also excluding bowling balls here for obvious reasons :)).
Perhaps it’s not the ball-shape but the circle that drives us into obsession. We are born and one of the first things we see is the eyes… the perfectly round irises of our mother’s, the midwife’s or any other person who slaps our butts to initiate the first breath. We are mesmerised by the sight of the shining sun and the full moon, both of which are perfect circles, as we grow up. Moreover, recent studies show that the circle shape triggers the sensations of calmness, safety and security in our minds. And that’s probably why the circular shape made it into designs in our daily lives: coins, medals, fabric buttons, elevator buttons, dinner plates, wedding bands, wreckballs, etc…
Maybe we should consider our secret obsession of round objects and circles from a different perspective. We all have stardust in our existence as every atom in our bodies were created inside some star before Earth even existed. The stars are where we come from and this obsession of circles and spheres may just be our longing to end up where we belong. How else could you justify our desire to explore space when we haven’t even solved the mysteries of our own planet? Or that all the celestial bodies in space are spheres? Or that crystal balls were used to predict the future?
Whether you believe Covid’s a pandemic or a plandemic, it has been more than a year since our lifestyles were changed drastically in almost all aspects of life. Social calls have been mostly put on hold, education became distanced, travel became more local, and the number of people washing their hands and stockpiling toilet paper has increased tenfold! Some businesses shut down while others used this opportunity to thrive. Corporately speaking, the greedy CEOkind is sure to come up with more new and costly inventions that would ease the transition of overly-concerned people towards a more hygienic, socially distanced and controlled life-style. Some post-covid lifestyle supporting innovations like scented masks that come in a variety of flavours are already on the market. But, the newest inventions, the latest fashion or whatever you may call these new ideas, they will always be too expensive for the general population in the earlier days.
So, what can people with less money to waste do? I believe there’s nothing better than reverting to old ways to fend off the virus in our daily lives and here’s how (listed under relevant topics):
Are you a young girl or a woman? Have Victorian origins by any chance? If you can answer both questions ‘yes’, then it’s high time to raid your great-grandmother’s wardrobe to look for a vintage Victorian dress! As most Victorian skirts were supported by crinolines worn underneath which made the skirt actually wider, these special dresses will also form a natural border of personal space around; keeping other people socially distanced while maintaining vintage fashion!
Have access to an ancient armour set? (If not, you can buy cheap, unauthentic sets online.) Not only will you look cooler strolling down the street in armour, but you will also be protected from floating viruses in the vicinity if a matching Corinthian helmet that only has a tiny space for the mouth, is also worn. Much better than plastic face shields, no? If you can also get a crossbow to complete your outfit, you can also shoot whoever violates your personal space. Moreover, you can polish your armour regularly and perhaps you can even become somebody’s ‘knight in shining armour’.
Is your digital wrist watch water-proof? Even if you answered ‘yes’ to this question, metal watch straps can corrode quicker when you frequently wash your hands to get rid of the virus clinging onto your hands. If the watch strap is leather, it still needs a viable solution as leather, too, is greatly affected by water. So, why not revert to carrying a pocket watch which would make your time-telling device need less spare part replacements.
When was the last time you went to a proper masquerade party? Probably never. The 16th century renaissance entertainment can easily become popular post-covid, adding class to your fashion by replacing horrid-looking surgical masks with artsy counterparts as well as taking entertainment to a new level. Spread the dancing spirit, not the covid!
Imprisoned at our own homes by prolonged covid lockdowns, we got used to spending long hours indoors, improving our binge-watching skills as full time couch potatoes. Since most of us finished whatever they threw at us on Netflix in record times, and the fact that there are fewer productions due to covid restrictions, we are soon bound to run out of things to watch at home. That is unless we rediscover VHS or Betamax video players and loot whatever tape that remains in those old boxes in your storage. Whether it’s your parents’ wedding ceremony recording or a dozen ancient films never digitized, you are in luck!
Squash!!! Certainly not the vegetable… but I can’t call this one-person activity a sport either as losing to a wall using a racquet and a tennis ball is not quite the competition. So, I had to list this option under entertainment! Nevertheless, bouncing balls alone will never get you sick and it’s safe to say that squash and your worthy opponent; the wall is not contagious at all.
Perhaps it’s time for the reemergence of medieval plague doctors and their infamous plague masks, which consisted of a long beak strapped to the nose, mainly for preventing miasma (the bad smell which was thought to be spreading diseases at the time) reaching the doctor’s olfactory sense. The beak could even hold dried flowers or fragrant herbs, making the virus work harder to be able to infect the doctor.
Emergence of witch doctors in less literate societies can be a solution as they can act like organic placebo, treating the sick, or protecting the uninfected with chants and benevolent magic. It’s in human nature to blindly believe people with higher social statuses. We do still believe politicians, don’t we? A respectable witch doctor can shoo away the virus and protect a society. Belief and hope can do miracles!
It’s getting more riskier day by day to use family automobiles and public transportation as they put the commuters in confined spaces with others, maximizing the risk of infection. Walking is still great, but doing that in a crowded urban city still poses a threat. So, how can we walk fearlessly amidst a crowd? The answer is stilt-walking, where the walker uses two long wooden poles with foot rests to walk above the crowd just like how some circus people walked. The poles can be cut into any desired height, making it nearly impossible to get infected from bypassing another stilt walker in the street. The sky is the limit here.
It’s different for longer journeys. Walking or stilt-walking will take ages if we are travelling far. And, since we are limited especially by international travel and the unwanted quarantine times when we reach our destination, the most viable thing left to do is any form of dreaming whether it’s a daydream when you can escape your boss and your mask half-dozing in your office or a lucid dream to escape the reality of these times and take full control of your next travel destination.
Reverting to these old ways will certainly not have the desired affects mentioned above, but they will surely drag us out of this vortex of boredom we’ve been thrown into.
In the first couple of millennia of human history, people roamed the globe; hunting and gathering; challenging the forces of nature on the way just for the sake of survival…
We battled with beasts (See mythology) for fame and hunted wild boars to bring home the bacon…
We constructed authentic castles standing the test of time for defence and shelter… and made the pyramids to puzzle contemporary scholars…
We used cave walls as canvas to pass on our stories…
We stood against volcanoes and thunderstorms… and when we couldn’t, we worshipped them…
We never worked out inside socialised caves just for the sake of looking fit… or drew musclebound torsos on walls for admiration…
Bodies at the time required no high-protein boost bars or gymnasiums surrounded by concrete walls, cluttered with man-made steel toys to maintain fitness. The natural flow of life in the beginning turned out to be a costly hobby in the end (Taking Gym memberships and related costs into account.)
Now, we are still “hunters and gatherers” of sorts… that is hunting for attention and gathering likes for the shots of artificially pumped up muscles on social media… How else would going to an enclosed gym situated in the middle of an urban jungle in a Ferrari instead of training outdoors be explained?
Which raises the question…
Will the necessities of our current life be costly hobbies in the distant future?
Will we find other ways to sustain our bodies other than consuming “water” just to survive, for instance?
Will we be crowding H2O pubs and sharing our experience on our water-sipping stories through our personalised akashic records?
And even green when northern lights make an appearence in the Arctic night…
How about trees? Do they have green leaves and a brown body? Or is it something we were taught in our infancy?
Nature doesn’t have one color per each creation. There are endless color combinations there but do we lack the vocabulary to describe each hue?
Homer described honey as green, and sea as the color of champagne. The words for color he used in his works never got more various than a simple black and white mentioned hundreds of times, with a tad of green and red appearing once or twice. Was he colorblind? Can honey be green? Can seas be the color of champagne? The color blue was not mentioned even once in his works. Since it was never mentioned that he was criticized about how he perceived colors in his time, should we assume that the whole ancient Greek population was incapable of distinguishing between colors?
Or are we still colorblind in the modern era in such a way that we have compound nouns that do not represent the colors of that we have in mind; is white wine, white? Are blackberries, black? Even a blackeye isn’t black.
Is it the evolution of the human eye or the creation of synthetic colors that created this confusion?
For more detailed insight, I recommend you read the first chapter of “Through the Language Glass” by Guy Deutscher…