Thursday, April 25, 2024

THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Charlie a mere superstition


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I BELIEVE that there are evil forces roaming around out there.

Call them what you will – demon, fiend, sprites. How else can you explain the inherently wicked approach of some who will take lives without a second thought or regard for the impact of their cruel action?

How it is also that some people can feel justified in duping people out of their life savings, leaving them without proper shelter or food? They not only take an elderly or sick person’s survival money but then proceed to live like royalty on their ill-gotten gains.

How can that cold-heartedness not be regarded as evil and a force other than that which resides in the hearts of other giving people?

Are we born this way and therefore prone to bad behaviour? Or, does mankind have good and noble intents at the point of birth?

Jails and other places of imprisonment suggest that the majority of people have at their core goodness. What then accounts for the fraction of people who go astray? Are we not to believe that the same force of nature operating within the good does not have a dark side?

Even though that may be the case, I am still to be convinced that the Ouija board-like game of Charlie Charlie Challenge has more to do with mind games than demonic forces at play. Anything that seems to summon up the dark forces will undoubtedly pique the attention of most and last week was no different. 

I listened to my teenage daughter and some others explain the activity of placing one pencil on top of the other on a piece of paper marked alternately “yes” and “no”. There is a supposedly a chant involving the name “Charlie” at the sound of which the pencils eerily moved to either of the words.

Their explanation was a combination from the minds of the Christians and the promising scientists in the chat group.

But isn’t that pencil game the same thing we did as children when we put one pencil to sit on top the other until the pull of gravity took over and guided the top pencil in a particular direction? We didn’t run screaming looking to be exorcised.

A parent of one of my daughter’s friends, to prove her point, had her child set up the scenario and instead of saying “Charlie” used another name. Nothing happened after the pencil moved naturally. There was no manifestation of a demon.

But the mind is a very impressionable thing for both adults and children. Logistically with only “yes” and “no”, where else is the pencil going to end up?

Some smart alec has come up with a way to cause mass panic among the young and the old and is sitting back watching. This is nothing more than what we locals regard as mere superstition and it is devoid of the powers of any spell or incantation.

That is, unless you will yourself to believe such. Then, whenever something happens to you, rather than it being a mere coincidence, it forever will be demonic.

That being said, it does not mean that the summoning of demonic forces is to be overlooked.

What the panic has shown is that we must examine what is taking place among the children and give them a clear explanation of what is happening.

Be careful, for as I sat writing this column, one young man was trying to decide whether he should scare the life out of his grandmother by pretending to invoke the dark forces. He believes his granny to be of the superstitious nature and therefore an easy prey for practical jokes.

• Antoinette Connell is a News Editor. Email antoinette

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