What is the Leprechaun Violence Conjecture?
Good question. It's a formula I've been working on which attempts to predict the amount of violence one would need to inflict on another person to be able to claim authorship of Leprechaun 5.
Could you explain what that means?
It'll become more clear when I tell you about Bob.
OK. When were you working on this formula?
For most of 2009
Why does something like that need to be calculated?
It is essentially an examination of the classical Faustian contract in which one weighs how much a soul is worth. Also, when you're a day trader and dealing with the fallout of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, you're doing a lot of drinking and mindless postulating.
Are you drinking right now?
What are you drinking?
A Black Tooth Grin.
What's in a Black Tooth Grin?
It's a drink invented by the members of the heavy metal group Pantera, based off of the lyric "Someday you too will know my pain, and smile its black tooth grin" from the song "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth. Their version of this concoction consists of multiple parts Crown Royal with a splash of Coca Cola. My version is equal parts Jack Daniel's and Coca Cola with a splash of Seagrams Seven.
Are you listening to Pantera or Megadeth right now?
No, I am listening to "Digital" by Joy Division.
Does any of this factor into the conjecture?
Yes, musical taste and libation choice are just a few of the variables which factor into the calibration of the equation.
So, how does the formula work?
Well, there are levels which can be depicted in a bar graph, each correlating to a specified amount of violence one would visit on a person so that he/she could have written Leprechaun 5.
For example, let's take Bob: an average American male, maybe slightly more idealistic than most.
Level One: Bob's idealism is still such that his desire to have written Leprechaun 5 is so beneath him, he pays it no mind whatsoever. Instead, he's busy reading Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, drinking cheap beer, and watching Fellini films. He's about 22 years old and a senior in college.
Movie character he's most like: William Wallace in "Braveheart," full of pure idealistic fervor, unwilling to compromise or bend to a life of oppression.
Bodily harm done so he could have written Leprechaun Five: zero; everyone around him is safe.
How many levels are there altogether?
Seven, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
What kind of cheap beer does someone drink on Level One?
Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon, St. Ides, King Cobra, typically anything that comes in a 40 ounce container.
Were you at all influenced by Dante's Divine Comedy?
Somewhat. There are also influences/comparisons that can be made to: the calculation of Blood Alcohol Percentage, Hempel's Paradox, and some of the early works of Tycho Brahe.
Didn't Brahe keep a pet moose?
At one point he owned an Elk, which sadly died after ingesting too much beer and falling down a flight of stairs. He also maintained the services of a Dwarf who acted in the capacity of Brahe's personal jester.
Are you making this up?
Was this something you discovered during your down time in 2009?
I would spend a decent amount of time pouring over covered call options and the remainder would be dispersed equally between perusing Wikipedia and various boxing websites.
Would you listen to music during this time?
Any bands in particular?
Slayer, Minor Threat, Minutemen, Fugazi, Black Sabbath, Bad Brains, Megadeth, etc. It depended on the day, whether it was nice outside or gloomy, whether I was in the grip of an anxiety attack or on a euphoric high.
Shall we discuss Level Two?
Level two: Bob is between the ages of 21-24. On his lunch break, from his entry level job, he spends a few minutes at Barnes and Noble across the street from his office. He glances at the direct to DVD movies in a bin somewhere near the back of the store. Since it's close to St. Patrick's Day, he's reminded of The Leprechaun Series, but shrugs it off, check's the time, and heads back to the office with the coffee his boss ordered. Mostly, Bob spends his days at this entry level position, between the hours of nine and five, but it could be eight to six, doing menial office tasks: handing out faxes, answering the phone, running errands. His general disposition and life outlook is a good one. He doesn't mind running these seemingly banal errands because "He's paying his dues." Someday, with hard work, he'll write something innovative and fresh.
So for this formula to work, the person wants to be a writer?
It can be any artist, but for this particular example Bob is a writer.
Movie Character he's most like: Josh Baskin in Big; he attacks data entry with zeal, and $187.30 is a lot of money. He hasn't lost that childlike innocence in thinking that someday they'll mention his name along with the greats.
Bodily harm done so that he could have written Leprechaun Five: .5 out of a possible 10. It's the equivalent of being at a bar and getting backed into a few times, by a guy who's had a couple, so that Bob stiffens and when the guy tries leaning back again, he meets with enough resistance to spill a little of his drink.
Who is this guy typically, the one with the spilled drink?
Most likely he's a finance guy, Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs, you can tell because he's got a gym bag with the company's name embroidered on the side. Since it's happy hour, he's tossed back a few Vodka Cranberries and his equilibrium is compromised. He's on his way to being a full fledged date rapist, not a compromised gropist.
Is gropist a word?
Not in the lexicon per se.
What does the gropist listen too?
Sirius XM, probably Howard Stern on his way to work, I'm guessing classic rock; he definitely gives high fives and knows the words to "More Than a Feeling."
What's Level three?
Level 3: This is where things begin to turn. Most likely the first couple of Bob's friends have gotten married, but at the same time, Bob's glad it's not him. He still enjoys the entry level job for the freedom it allows him to write, but the novelty of the paycheck amount begins to weigh on him. On his way home from work one night, he sees that Willow is on sale for $9.99 and he stares at Warwick Davis for a long period of time while the theme from The Omen reverberates around in his skull. Regardless, at the end of the day, Bob meets his friends for a couple of domestic beers and talks about an idea he has for a riff on Repo Man. His Idealism hits a slight bump, but maintains its course. Odds are he's about 25 years old.
Movie Character he's most like: Lloyd Dobler; Bob still doesn't want to sell out (i.e. buy anything sold or processed, sell anything bought or processed, or process anything bought or sold). Dobler's idealism took a hit when Diane Court dumped him. He ended up drinking cheap beer, getting life lessons outside of the Gas n' Sip. He still possesses the idealism though, demonstrated by blasting Peter Gabriel from a boom box outside of Diane Court's window, even after she gave him a pen... a pen.
Bodily harm done so that he could have written Leprechaun Five: 3; Bob would get into a shoving match with someone, but they'd have to push him first. Then he'd feint and throw wild haymakers until someone broke it up.
You seem to know a lot about movies.
You have no idea, I can recite all the best picture Oscar winners, and their directors, from the last fifty years.
What won in 1971?
The French Connection directed by William Friedkin. My mom calls me on the weekends for help with the New York Times crossword puzzle.
OK. What's the next level?
Level 4: Bob reads in Variety one morning two new movies are being produced involving the repossession business. Occasionally, he plays Black Sabbath over the all office page, and when his boss meets with him at his four year review, he actually says the words "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not have any more responsibility." Then he tells his boss "This meeting is over," as if Bob was a cop accused of corruption during the Knapp hearings. Bob spends the rest of his days at his desk endlessly typing pages toward what he feels is his magnum opus. Really, he only has a title: No One Runs Faster Than a Rifle Bullet, but the title alone gives him some solace. His "idealism candle" is flickering in the wind. Bob has now switched from drinking beer to drinking whiskey.
Movie Character he's most like: Barton Fink; so much promise coming out of theater, then toiling almost aimlessly, until he questions whether or not he's actually in Hell, carrying around what might be a Fishmonger. Fishmongers Fishmongers Fishmongers Fishmongers.
Bodily harm done so that he could have written Leprechaun Five: It would take something, but not much to set him off at this point. For example, if someone were to make the mistake of asking Bob to get them coffee, he'd knee them in the face repeatedly like Paco in Bloodsport.
What won best picture in 1978?
The Deer Hunter. Michael Cimino
What are you listening to now?
"Three point one four," by the Bloodhound Gang. They originally wanted to call it "Vagina."
Pi. That's clever. You seem to have an eclectic taste in music.
One who is not open to new things will find himself shut off to the world.
What movie is that from?
It's not, I just made that up.
What's Level 5?
Level 5: Over half of Bob's friends are married and have bought houses. Some of them have kids. He begins to listen to Ozzy Osbourne's version of "Working Class Hero" over and over again, mouthing the words "But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see." He's moved on to drinking copious amounts of Scotch, and drinking wine by the bottle. While holed up in his studio apartment one Sunday morning, The Return of the Jedi comes on television; Bob watches the scenes with Carrie Fisher and Wickett like Travis Bickle watches American Bandstand in Taxi Driver. The multitude of scripts that Bob's written collects dust on his shelves. If the name Eli Roth is mentioned in Bob's presence, he might just snap.
Bodily harm done so that he could have written Leprechaun Five: The last level at which Bob is mostly reactionary, but beginning to become antagonistic. If pushed, Bob would take off his watch, smash a beer bottle, then tear someone apart like Atilla in Lionheart.
Do you think if you had the same aptitude in the field of math or science, as you do for film, what you might have accomplished?
The Field's Medal for starters, perhaps be on a Nobel Prize team which discovered the cure for something, or the natural orbit of something else. As it is though, I know that Dolph Lundgren was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.
Are you serious?
I wouldn't joke about something like that.
What's the next level?
Level 6: Things take a bit of a breather at this point. Bob could no longer stomach his job; he was suffering from night terrors and a severity of apathy he'd never felt before. He's taken a new job (still entry level), which mixes things up a little, and gives his idealism some resuscitation. At the same time, he's still mostly jaded, and at dinner, while talking with friends, he openly laments the fact that if he'd been offered the chance to write Leprechaun 5, he would seriously consider it. A small part of him still holds out hope he'll make it as a writer. He doesn't mention this to the group at the table, instead he pushes a half eaten dumpling around on his plate wondering if it's a metaphor for something else. After dinner's over, and the check comes, Bob's friends pay with platinum business credit cards. He leaves three wadded up ten dollar bills.
Movie Character he's most like: Uli Kunkel from The Big Lebowski; he's content to float in a pool with an empty bottle of Jack bobbing next to him. Of course, if he feels like someone is making with the funny stuff, he'll unleash a marmot, brandish a samurai sword, and cut off someone's "chonson."
Bodily harm done so he could have written Leprechaun Five: Since he's gotten the new job, and gotten a bit more settled, Bob's not as antagonistic as he used to be. He's more like my friend's 180 pound bull mastiff Gordon: content to go with the flow, but if someone takes Gordon's bone, they might lose a hand, or arm, or face. Regardless, they're going to be less handsome... Gordon's not allowed to play with other dogs.
All this to have written the fifth installment of the Leprechaun series?
How do you feel about the writers of the movie, Doug Hall, John Huffman, Alan Reynolds, Rob Spera and William Wells?
Again, the conjecture doesn't really have to do so much with the actual film itself, or the writers per se. It has to do with belief and ideals, and how they change over time.
What's the last level?
Level 7: The final level. Bob spends most of his time wondering whether or not he just wasted the last decade of his life on naive and unrealistic pipe dreams. Warwick Davis now haunts him everywhere he goes, and one night, while lying on the cold wooden floor of his living room, surrounded by empty bottles of Pinot Noir, and a pizza box with coagulated cheese stuck to the roof of the cardboard box, finally admits to himself that yes, he would have killed someone to write Leprechaun 5. All except a handful of his friends are married, have kids, and are productive members of society. Bob's free time is spent in his studio apartment, drinking and crafting short stories, which he sends out into cyberspace like some kind of new age Henry Chinaski. Bob has no drink of choice; as long as it's got any proof, it's fine by him. He's around 30 years old at this point.
Movie Character he's most like: Fender from Cyborg. "I LIKE THE PAIN; I LIKE THE MISERY... I LIKE THIS WOOOOOOOOORLD!!!!!!!"
Bodily harm done so he could have written Leprechaun Five: a 10; Bob is John Rambo with a .50 caliber machine gun cutting people to ribbons, disemboweling, and hacking off heads with his bare hands.
I guess the only question left is where does Bob go from here?
Yes, that is the ultimate question, what does Bob do now? He could continue planting his feet in unsure footholds, hoping the Gods of fiction throw him a bone. Although, the uncertainty of it all leaves him feeling paralyzed. Or, he could commit himself to a life of options trading, waking up at five forty-five everyday to reverse commute, leaving before the sun rises and coming home after the sun sets, day in, day out, day in, day out, day in, day out...
Isn't that lyrics from "Digital?"
Yeah, I've put Joy Division on repeat. The point is, one day Bob might possibly leave his apartment for work, get outside into the early morning, feel the chilled air, the kind which burns the lungs, and exhale a profound sense of hurt reserved for those with broken souls. The bus will be late three minutes, causing Bob to miss his train. He'll have to wait on the platform an extra forty minutes. Bob will hop back and forth on his feet in a futile attempt to get his circulation going. That's when he'll see it; a poster for a film about the repossession business, entitled A Rifle Bullet Goes Faster, directed by Eli Roth. He won't cry, he won't laugh. His movements will become robotic, as if Bob is an automaton, operating on pure motor function alone. "He seemed so peaceful," will be the consensus during the trial, uttered by witnesses and people who'd known Bob for most of their lives. He won't talk to anyone; not to his lawyer, not to reporters, not to the victim's families. Finally, before sentencing, he'll stand up in the courtroom clad in an orange jumpsuit and say cryptically "A friend with weed is a friend indeed." It won't be long before a young camera assistant, there to film the proceedings, divulges the quotation is from Leprechaun 5. The message boards light up; Bob's story makes a few waves, but soon dies down. It isn't until months later, while in protective custody, Bob gets the news. His life story is going to be made into a film: "The Leprechaun Killer." Sequel rights are already pending. Perhaps, Bob thinks, there might be a kid out there somewhere wondering what he have to do so that he could have written The Leprechaun Killer.
Jesus. So what do you want to talk about now?
I have a formula called the Jane Biehn theory; it's a correlation between mustache thickness and good acting. Would you like to hear that?
BIO: Andrew Davie is an MFA candidate at Adelphi University. He currently lives in New York.