A group of film students from Seton Hall University (New Jersey, USA) decided to make a pilgrimage to the Himalayas (India) to find the Hindu lord Shiva and ask him about some complicated trends in American culture and horror cinema. The students were a group of four, named Eli, Reba, Thomas, and Anastasia. The students were studying dangerous trends in film and media that were giving rise to copycat crimes in America every Halloween.
The students climbed the snowy mountains and finally reached the peak of the right mountain where Shiva was found sitting and meditating with his pet friend, a wolf-dog named Alastair. They approached Shiva, very excited, and began to ask him questions and found Shiva to be surprisingly receptive.
"We are happy to find you, Shiva," said Eli. "We are four students from Seton Hall University studying social psychology trends involving horror cinema in America."
Shiva replied, "That sounds interesting. What do you want to ask me?"
Eli continued, "Ever since Oliver Stone released his controversial crime-glorification film Natural Born Killers in 1994, social critics have been concerned that American films which parade images of violence motivate impressionable youngsters to commit copycat crimes. We are studying these trends in American culture and mass psychology!"
Shiva replied, "That sounds promising. Images in film or media can be construed as society dialogue about etiquette angst. Is there a particular American horror film you are investigating?"
Eli said, "Yes. The iconic American horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released in 1974, changed the way people looked at permissible art in regards to violence-imagery in film and media. This film introduced the world to the chainsaw-wielding cannibal Leatherface who wears a mask made out of the skin of human corpses and stalks random passerby in Texas!"
Shiva replied, "Leatherface is a real maniac. He reminds me of the Stephen King character Pennywise, a demonic clown who subverts basic American sensibilities about pedestrian safety. Both Leatherface and Pennywise represent absurdism and encourage discussion about crime and etiquette."
Eli said, "Yes. We think that next Halloween, someone might dress up as Leatherface and commit copycat crimes, especially because there have been multiple Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes since 2003."
Shiva replied, "Seton Hall University is a great school, and it is noteworthy that students there are studying these poignant themes about criminal psychology, American art, and culture trends!"
Eli said, "Yes. We wanted to ask you what you thought about American horror cinema avatars (such as Leatherface and Pennywise) who symbolize violence-magnification."
Shiva replied, "Well, Pennywise is a lot like Leatherface. They both encourage discussion about the failures of jurisprudence. So, why are you concerned that this Halloween will inspire copycat criminals?"
Eli said, "We think that the release of a Leatherface film this year will magnify Americans' preoccupation with jurisprudence paranoia."
Shiva replied, "Well then, American students should voice their opinions about liberal dialogue regarding vigilantism philosophy. That's all the advice I can offer."
The students were very happy and bid farewell to Shiva and his dog Alastair. They climbed down the mountain and headed back home. Eli wondered if Shiva was a fan of comic books, since comic books cater to vigilantism fantasies. When the students returned to the Seton Hall campus, no one believed them that they learned about Pennywise from Shiva.
Back on his mountain, Shiva remarked to his dog Alastair, "I should have told those Seton Hall students that Batman (DC Comics) is my favourite comic book character. Batman makes everyone feel better about criminal insanity analysis. I'm sure Eli's professor at Seton Hall will provide the right compass."
What no one realized, however, was that an emotionally troubled Seton Hall student named Teddy was planning to dress up as Pennywise for Halloween and murder a police officer. Perhaps Shiva should have done more to prepare Eli and his friends. Eli would forever remember his Shiva-pilgrimage as an optimistic intellectual success. Teddy was about to discover that crime is indeed tempting.