Teens Are Trying to Summon a Demon Named Charlie Using Social Media
If you're an adult, don't worry: You'll never understand it.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
And the Devil did push his head up through the ages of rock and bring down upon the earth a rain of lava and hellfire, and we did ask him, we did turn to him and say: Yo, the Devil, what the fuck are you doing here? We weren't expecting you here. Thought we had a thousand more years. And the Devil did crush the mountains down to dust and turn the seas to stone and the earth was rendered instantly fallow and we were like: Dude, why did you do that? Du–ude! You just killed all of the corn, man! We were going to eat that shit! What the fuck, the Devil? And the Devil did turn to us and with a voice as deep as a thousand trucks revving in an old cave, with a voice impure and dirty, and did scream into the mayhem-filled sky just a single word.
"TEENS," the Devil said. "TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENS!" And the night was long and black and infinite, and the earth lay dead and still, and all of us were made skeletons in an instant before the eyes of God.
What I am saying here is that teenagers are using social media to summon up a Mexican demon called "Charlie" and this seems like both the natural conclusion to things here in the corporeal realm ("How did the world end?" "Teens summoned a demon for Vine likes and then fire embraced the world." "Yeah, that... that seems about right") and also the most #teen thing to ever be done by #teens.
Here's how it works, in case you want to summon a Mexican demon with an extremely un-Mexican name: You balance two pencils very carefully on each other in a cross-like arrangement, then write "YES / NO / YES / NO" in the gaps, then you chant, "Charlie, Charlie, are you there?" If you want anything to happen, then at this point you gently blow on the top pencil to spin it towards one of the answers of your choice. If you are accompanied by a #teen they will absolutely freak their shit at this and start screaming and running through the house and having those vibrant, high-octane emotions that teenagers have, and then they will make a video of this and put it on Instagram for anywhere between 40 and 55 likes. And lo, a short-lived meme is born.
I think it's safe to say here that #teens are not truly summoning the spirit of some Mexican devil-lite, but are in fact summoning the whole internet to an obscure hashtag to look at some pens and pencils arranged in a cross, slowly revolving while someone screams. Because that's it, isn't it? Teenagers have finally become self-aware, and are trolling the entire world with some hokey Ouija board-esque shit.
If you are a teenager, please don't read the following paragraphs, and just skip straight ahead to the conclusion. If you are a real person: Have you ever felt at once closer to death and further from your youth than seeing this #charliecharliechallenge shit? This is what teenagers do now. They scream at pencils. They suck their lips into a shot glass and then have to go to hospital. Because this is what #teens are: creatures without responsibility but locked into strict curfews; humans with a wriggling sense of urgent energy about them, keen to get out and crush the world and forge it anew in their own image, but still having to do exams about algebra and shit. They are colts revving in the stables of life, and they all have a really good 4G connection.
This is the thing. When I was a #teen the greatest thrill I could hope to experience was finding some glossy-print pornography under a bush or getting drunk on clear and cold and illicitly-got cider before doing a basic sex act on a park bench. When I was a #teen, going to France and buying a penknife automatically made you the coolest boy at school. Now #teens have had smartphones basically as long as they have been alive. Now #teens are all Vine celebrities or YouTube vloggers. Imagine how insane you would have gone if you had this kind of untapped internet access when you were 15. Imagine if every stupid tweet you did was dissected and presented as the end of days by tabloid papers across the world. What I am saying is this: of course #teens are summoning The Devil up from the very bowels of hell, to scorch our earth of both #teens and the adults who make it their business to ruin the lives of #teens. It's the natural conclusion to a world obsessed with instant access to taste-making semi-adults, bored and drunk on their own small power, Snapchatting one final picture of their junk to one another as the molten asteroids pelt us down to nothing.
Anyway, TL;DR: end of days is coming, teens mostly responsible.
Follow Joel Golby on Twitter.