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Why Today's Youth Reject Charlie Hebdo Brand Of Humor

The dynamics of social networks have established a climate of caution for young people, whose sense of fun is more narcissistic and less political than previous generations.

Who's laughing now?
Who's laughing now?
Rinny Gremaud

GENEVA — Over the past two weeks, many parents have had to explain Charlie Hebdo and the heritage of Hara-Kiri magazine (Charlie Hebdo"s predecessor) to a younger and sometimes puzzled generation. Looking through Wolinski's cartoons and talking about Charlie Hebdo"s covers during a family meal have often led to this common conclusion: Young people simply don't find that brand of humor funny.

"Tell me if you laugh, how you laugh, why you laugh, about who and what, with whom and against whom, and I'll tell you who you are," historian Jacques Goff wrote as a preamble to his Enquête sur le rire (Investigating laughter). Humor is an expression of culture, and it necessarily reflects its own time period. It can also become obsolete.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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