Everything You Need to Know About the Charlie Charlie Challenge, This …

27 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Mexican Demon Named Charlie Is the Internet’s Newest Urban Legend.

If you are one of those crotchety people who believe the kids these days are somehow less inspired than generations before, then I come bearing new evidence: Even their superstitions are lamer than ours! You may have noticed a recent trend popping up all over Vine, Facebook and Twitter called the “Charlie Charlie Challenge.” It’s this generation’s Oujia board, combined with the Bloody Mary game, sort of. Charlie Charlie, a game/internet urban legend of sudden and inexplicable popularity, surged to the top of the global social media charts this weekend after kicking around on the Spanish-language Internet for much of eternity. You then balance two pencils on top of each other in a cross form and you ask: “Charlie, Charlie are you there?” And then the top pencil is supposed to move and it freaks everyone out. A few weeks ago it was the #KylieJennerChallenge, which resulted in plenty of #KylieJennerChallengeFails, and left kids in need of medical attention with damage to their faces.

Wait until gravity kicks in, ignore how gravity works, and have yourself a documented meltdown over the spookiness of borderline-obsolete writing utensils moving slightly. The script is simple: Cross two pencils over a piece of paper decorated with “yes” and “no” boxes (there’s also a more complicated six-pencil alternative for especially eager heathens). While it’s hard to pin down an exact country of origin, Charlie Charlie (also spelled Charly Charly) has a long history as a schoolyard game in the Spanish-speaking world. The idea of summoning an otherworldly spirit through group incantation has been a thing people have done to freak themselves out for years, chanting “Bloody Mary” in front of a mirror or chanting “Beetlejuice” after thinking too much about the volatile career of Michael Keaton. You can find out more about this trend at ScaryforKids; apparently it originated in Mexico with a game called “Six Pencils.” This is the part of the article where you say in a curmudgeonly voice: “in my day, we didn’t have pencils and iPhones and Vines to ask demons questions.

Players ask questions which are then answered by a “Mexican demon named Charlie.” As pointed out by many, there is no demon in Mexican folklore named Charlie. The pencils-on-a-grid-moving-to-signify-supernatural-presence has the familiar pull of pareidolia—when your mind tricks you into reading meaning into random or meaningless stimuli. One Reddit user explains that the game is a traditional Mexican ritual where players — usually children — attempt to contact the spirit of a child named Charlie.

After thoroughly freaking yourself out and/or FINALLY figuring out which One Direction member you’re going to marry, proceed to upload your voodoo vid to Twitter/Instagram/Vine/ any other social media site your parents have definitely never heard of it. It’s the same thing that happens when you play with a Ouija board, and it has the same nonsense exoticism as Ouija (which was invented by an American businessman, despite the foreign-sounding name). Traditionally, this version with the crossed pencils was called the Juego de la Lapicera – a term that still turns up lots of creepy stuff on Google – and Charlie Charlie was a distinct game, played with coloured pencils. Kids today are spoiled!” The executives who run our favorite drunk eating establishments are trying to make their menus completely unrecognizable, and it’s time to put a stop to this immediately.

The BBC looked into where the whole “Mexican” element got thrown in, and concluded that it isn’t based on any known folklore from south of the border. “There’s no demon called ‘Charlie’ in Mexico,” says Maria Elena Navez of BBC Mundo. “Mexican legends often come from ancient Aztec and Maya history, or from the many beliefs that began circulating during the Spanish conquest. In either case, both have always had demonic or supernatural connotations; one site calls Lapicera “the poor man’s Ouija board.” It’s always hard to say exactly why these things trend, but the latest bubble seems to have begun in late April in the Dominican province of Hato Mayor, when a local TV news station broadcast a very alarmist (and unintentionally funny) report about the “Satanic” game overtaking local schools. That’s right, never again will you be able to order a personal pan pizza or Gordita in the hopes of eating artificial chemicals—you’re now going to be forced to take your bean burrito with (gasp!) real ingredients.

Of course, these tweet-happy tweenagers aren’t just Hogwarts rejects employing the dark arts to ascertain the exact date of Justin Bieber’s upcoming album release. What if this latest #CharlieCharlieChallenge leads an individual to make the wrong decisions based on an “answer” given to them by a fictional demon? According to an announcement this morning, the fast food companies have pledged to go “natural” and get rid of all its previously-used artificial and flavors. Meanwhile, over the weekend, a 17-year-old girl in central Georgia in the US Instagrammed her game and slapped it with the hashtag #CharlieCharlieChallenge. Allow us to recall the terrible tragedy of the “Slenderman case,” in Wisconsin, in which two girls devoted to a fictional character created on the Internet sought to impress him by stabbing their 12-year-old classmate 19 times in the woods.

In 2008, a user called twilightfan posted a story about playing the pencil game to contact “a ghost named Charlie that had died of child abuse” on YourGhostStories.com. While I can’t say for sure what the game will or will not do for any one individual, certainly a game that has an alleged diabolic association cannot be good, especially for an emotional teen. Per various corners of the Spanish-speaking internet: a child who committed suicide, the victim of a fatal car accident, or a pagan Mexican deity who now convenes with the Christian devil. One popular screenshot details Charlie’s sinister motives while emphasizing the importance of ending every seven-minutes-in-hell session with a polite “Charlie, Charlie can we stop?” Apparently not saying goodbye is a foolproof recipe for a good old-fashioned haunting.

It’s not clear when Charlie morphed into a specifically Mexican demon, but once the paranormal fad went viral, it didn’t take long for Christian fearmongers to warn against calling on the nefarious spirit world via DIY Ouija. This practical PSA has been floating around Twitter, often with the caption “RT to save a life.” While Charlie Challengers have clearly been looking out for their own, a Philadelphia priest has taken matters into his own hands in an open letter to his student. Father Stephen McCarthy warned his pupils “the problem with opening yourself up to demonic activity is that it opens a window of possibilities which is not easily closed.” He then ordered them “to NOT participate” in the challenge and “encourage others to avoid participation as well.” Because if there’s one way to combat a demonic adolescent trend, it’s a religious authority figure promising actual supernatural contact. I mean, you should definitely care if you’re seeking supernatural answers to your life questions. (Excepting questions about love, death and money, which – per certain versions of the legend – Charlie will not answer.) Even if that doesn’t exactly describe you, though, Charlie makes a killer case study in virality and how things move in and out of languages and cultures online.

With a Catholic priest already taking this challenge seriously, teary parent testimonials and calls for increased border patrol can’t be far behind. Shanghai, China: Shanghai is a city with 24 million people – frequently blanketed in smog from coal power plants and endless construction – so it is fitting that here, at the inaugural Consumer Electronics Show Asia, motor companies are giving an idea of how they are working to deal with problems of congestion and pollution.

While the most visible technological innovation in the automotive space is arguably in self-driving cars (and Audi was on hand at CES Asia to show off an autonomous version of its R8 e-tron electric vehicle), even the smartest computers won’t help you in a total gridlock, and so finding a solution to congestion is foremost on many automakers’ minds. French explained that “it can generate a very strong impression that the movement is being cause by some outside agency, but it’s not… with Ouija boards you’ve got the whole social context. One of the experiments that Ford (several executives from which echoed the mantra that the company is no longer just an automobile business, but also a “mobility” business) is undertaking is into whether the sensors and technology already baked into our cars could eventually be collated into a kind of map to guide drivers to the best area for parking. The cars we drive are themselves increasingly connected and filled with tech, and for Ford that ranges from dashboards that can use either Apple Car Play or Android Auto (or Ford’s own Sync platform) to provide in-car entertainment, to the emergency assist feature that uses the driver’s own phone to call for help and give accident details to emergency services. He also says the ability to update the new cars’ software via Wi-Fi (or via USB in older models) means you won’t need to get a new car every time you get a new device, and any security threats that emerge can be swiftly dealt with.

As Ford branches out beyond car-making, Buczkowski says a key aim for mobility companies will be to find viable businesses in moving people from point A to point B, even when cities become too crowded for cars to be an option and traditional petrol- and gas-driven cars become untenable. “The goal is really to be part of a solution that cuts across all kinds of transportation … to get the person from where they are to where they want to be”, he said.

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