slc punk 
it seems to take me forever to get to a film. we've owned the disc of this flick for several years. i knew it was about a subject near and dear to my heart: punk, punk ethos and the 1980s. for i was such a young man as portrayed by matthew lillard in this movie. a screaming punk, thoughtful [sorta] young dude, who got to a bridge to adulthood and agonized about crossing it.
well, my life was not so neat as steve-o's life, as portrayed by lillard. for me there were lots of steps forwards and many steps backwards. for steve-o's life is linear. you can almost graph it. which is just was well for this is a bildungsroman about the life of a punk rocker living in the conservative city of salt lake city, utah.
i have some experience of slc. we lived there for a short period when i was just a wee lad. why? i really don't know why my father and mother, both raised in california, would choose to quite their jobs and take their children to utah. but they were young and needed a change and their reasons for moving states is their own. i remember slc being very snowy. which was a novelty for me. it doesn't snow in california. and i remember drivng across the great salt flats, too. other than that, slc was just another place for me, and as long as i was with my family, it was home.
it is home for steve-o and his misfit friends too. he discovers punk rock at the age of 14 through the auspices of his best friend heroin bob [who hated needles and didn't use drugs, hence his name is meant to be ironic]. steve-o is an anarchist all thru high school and college. now in his early 20s he runs at the margins of society. he has a pretty good relationship with his harvard trained lawyer father, and mother, and as you know that steve-o was a good student in college, him being a harvard legacy, there is no secret what happens to him at the end of this film.
how we get to the end is the meat of the matter. steve-o and heroin bob hate rednecks, hippies etc etc. fighting is a way of life. remember that this is the mid '80s, ronald reagan is president, so there is a shitload of anti-ronnie art on display in the background. that made me realize the end of the world has always been nigh. so why the fuck don't we enjoy ourselves before we drop the bomb.
i shit you not. i recall hitting the bong in the '80s and discussing what we would do if we learned the missiles were on their way. that was life in reagan's america. we lived with MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction, but most of us knew nuclear war could happen without reason and without warning.
so does steve-o and friends. that is their driving thesis: life could end at a moment's notice. so anarchy, motherfucker!
it is a delightful film with a great soundtrack: dead kennedys, fear, the stooges, roxy music, the specials and so on. and i'm tellin' you when i got to the end i was in tears of sympathy. i know these people. i was one of these people. i'm almost 50, yeah that's right put that in yr pipe and smoke it! i'll be half a century this june. and i'm still deeply influenced by punk ethos. steve-o does right by me. finally, i watched this movie nearly 20 years after it was released. time does fucking fly! but what does that matter as we stand here alive for the little while that we call our lives. punks' not dead! not yet. not now. i'll prove it to ya. i'm not even going to edit this essay. how's that for a punk's fuck you! well over 30 years later i'm still slamdancing to the beat of the exploited's barmy army. i suspect steve-o is too after a long hard day's work at the office.