Tag Archives: Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Charlie The “Demonic” Teen Game – All You Should Know (History)

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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!

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“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. As of this writing, #CharlieCharlieChallenge has been tweeted more than 1.6 million times. More people are Googling “Charlie Charlie” than virtually any other news event.

What’s all this about?! Below, our no-nonsense explainer for the old/unimpressed.

How do you play Charlie Charlie?
Simple! You could, if you wanted, even do it at your desk.

Step 1: Open your Vine and get the camera rolling. (If you don’t have Vine, you ARE too old for this.)
Step 2: Draw an X on a piece of paper.
Step 3: Label two of the resulting quadrants “no,” and the other two “yes.”
Step 4: Place two overlapping pencils on each axis of your grid, crossing them in the middle.
Step 5: Say “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” and ask a question. (i.e., “is one of my friends going to die soon,” “will I go to prom next May.” )
Step 6: Scream, probably.

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Where did this come from?
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. According to one seven-year-old Yahoo! Respuestas thread — that’s Yahoo Answers to you — kids have played a version of the “classic game” in Spain for generations.

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 colored pencils. At some point in their Internet and playground travels, the two games seem to have merged. In either case, both have always had demonic or supernatural connotations; one site calls Lapicera “the poor man’s Ouija board.”

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Why is it popular again right now?
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. From there, social media users in the Dominican Republic began tweeting, Instagramming and Vining about the game; by mid-May, the phrase “Charlie Charlie” was trending on Dominican Twitter, an easy jump away from the rest of Spanish-language Web.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, a 17-year-old girl in central Georgia Instagrammed her game and slapped it with the hashtag #CharlieCharlieChallenge. That hashtag was, apparently, all the kids needed: It’s been tweeted 1.6 million times since then.

Who is Charlie, anyway?
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. The Mexican deity bit, at least, is demonstrably untrue.

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“There’s no demon called ‘Charlie’ in Mexico,” said Maria Elena Navez of BBC Mundo.

Is this as dangerous as some of the other viral teen challenges going around?
Given that no one’s setting themselves on fire, inhaling a caustic substance or deforming their lips, Charlie Charlie looks … pretty harmless.

That said, according to popular legend, Charlie haunts players who fail to say goodbye before they close out of the game. And there are, predictably, a whole lot of people who don’t love the kids-summoning-demons thing.

Why should I care? (Should I even care?!)
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.)

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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. You’ll notice, for instance, a lot of players and reporters talking about the game as if it were new, when it’s actually — and more interestingly, I think — an old game that has just recently crossed the language divide.

This is also, pretty notably, yet another example of the power of the teenage Internet. Write off their little games as silly, sure — but we never trended “Bloody Mary” or “Ouija board.”


Note: Project Originally Posted to The Washington Post dated 2015, copied to Noble Reporters Media for awareness.

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#Newsworthy

Fourteen go on trial in France amid Charlie Hebdo attack.

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Trial opens in Paris for 14 suspects accused of helping gunmen attack French magazine and Jewish supermarket in 2015.


Fourteen people have gone on trial in Paris on charges of assisting the gunmen who attacked the weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket five years ago, leaving 17 people dead.

Only 11 of the suspected accomplices appeared in the packed courtroom on Wednesday to face charges of conspiracy in a terrorist act or association with a terror group – the other three fled to territory controlled by ISIL (ISIS) in Syria or Iraq before the January 2015 attacks on the publication’s offices and the supermarket in the French capital.

The three attackers were shot dead by police in separate stand-offs.

Reporting from Paris, Noble Reporters Media learnt the trial will be “very closely watched” in France until it wraps up in November.

“The attacks shocked so many people, prompting an enormous outpouring of grief,” she added.

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Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication infamous for its irreverence and accused by critics of racism, was targeted after publishing derogatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Twelve people, including some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists, were shot dead when French brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed its offices in eastern Paris on January 7, 2015. The attackers also killed a police officer as they left the scene.

A day later, Amedy Coulibaly, who had become close to Cherif Kouachi while they were in prison, killed a 27-year-old police officer, Clarissa Jean-Philippe, during a traffic check in Montrouge, outside Paris.

Then on January 9, Coulibaly killed four men during a hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket.

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The perpetrators of the attacks had links with al-Qaeda and ISIL. Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the supermarket. The Kouachi brothers were killed when officers carried out a nearly simultaneous operation at a printing shop where they were holed up in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris.

Lawyers for the victims enter the courtroom for the opening of the trial [Charles Platiau/Reuters]

Caricatures reprinted
Over the next two-and-a-half months, the court will hear from some 150 experts and witnesses.

The suspected accomplices face charges including financing terrorism, membership in a terrorist organisation and supplying weapons to the attackers.

The defendants tried in absentia include Hayat Boumedienne, Coulibaly’s partner at the time of the attacks, and brothers Mohamed and Mehdi Belhoucine.

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As the court proceedings got under way, Charlie Hebdo reprinted in its Wednesday issue the hugely controversial caricatures that stirred outrage in the Muslim world when they were first published nearly a decade before the attacks. Physical depictions of the prophet are forbidden in Islam and deeply offensive to Muslims.

“We will never lie down. We will never give up,” director Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who was wounded in the attack, wrote in an editorial published on Wednesday.

The publication of the cartoons drew fresh condemnation from Pakistan’s foreign ministry, which said the decision to print them again was “deeply offensive”.

But French President Emmanuel Macron defended the “freedom to blaspheme” and paid tribute to the victims of the attack.

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“A president of France should never judge the editorial choice of a journalist or editorial staff because there is freedom of the press which is rightly cherished,” he said on a visit to Beirut, Lebanon.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote in a Twitter post: “Always Charlie”.

The 2015 attacks prompted a rally of solidarity in Paris at the time, drawing more than four million people, many holding signs with the slogan “I Am Charlie.”

Dozens of world leaders and statespeople also linked arms in a march under high security to pay tributes to the victims of the attacks.


#Newsworthy…

France’s satirical paper reprinting caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.

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The move comes a day before 13 men and one woman accused of assisting the 2015 attackers of the paper go on trial.


The French satirical paper whose Paris offices were attacked in 2015 is reprinting the caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad that the gunmen who opened fire on its editorial staff cited as their motivation.

The move was announced on Tuesday, a day before 13 men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics go on trial on charges of terrorism on Wednesday.

In an editorial this week accompanying the caricatures, the paper said the drawings “belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased”.

The January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and, two days later, a kosher supermarket, touched off a wave of killings claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group across Europe.

Seventeen people died in the attacks – 12 of them at the editorial offices – along with all three attackers.

The attackers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, claimed their attack on the newspaper in the name of al-Qaeda. As they left the scene at Charlie Hebdo, they killed a wounded policeman and drove away.

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Two days later, a prison acquaintance of theirs stormed a kosher supermarket on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, claiming allegiance to ISIL. Four hostages were killed during the attack.

The Kouachi brothers had by then holed up in a printing office with another hostage. All three attackers died in near-simultaneous police raids.

The supermarket attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, also killed a young policewoman.

The artwork depicting members of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo [File: Francois Guillot/AFP]

Blasphemy
The caricatures re-published this week were first printed in 2006 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, setting off sometimes violent protests by Muslims who believe depicting the Prophet is blasphemy.

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Charlie Hebdo, infamous for its irreverence, regularly caricatures religious leaders from various faiths and republished them soon afterwards.

The paper’s Paris offices were firebombed in 2011 and its editorial leadership placed under police protection, which remains in place to this day.

Laurent Sourisseau, the paper’s director and one of the few staff to have survived the attack, named each of the victims in a foreword to this week’s edition.

“Rare are those who, five years later, dare oppose the demands that are still so pressing from religions in general, and some in particular,” wrote Sourisseau, also known as Riss.


#Newsworthy…