SLC Punk!

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A person is never happy till their vague strivings has itself marked out its proper limitations.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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SLC Punk! is a 1998 film about two punks living in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1980s.

Directed & Written by James Merendino

God bless America...they're going to need it. #taglines


  • Posers were people who looked like punks but they did it for fashion. And they were fools, they'd say "anarchy in the UK." What the fuck's that? Anarchy in the UK. What good is that to those of us in Utah, America? It was a Sex Pistols thing. They were British, they were allowed to go on about Anarchy in the UK. You don't live your life by lyrics.
  • See, to me, England was nothing more then a big fucking American state like North Dakota or Canada.
  • You see life is like that. We change, that's all. You see, the guy I am now is not the guy I was then. If the guy I was then met the guy I am now he'd beat the shit out of me. Those are the facts.
  • It's like fucking Jesus Christ took a shit and it landed right here, so you can be happy all you fucking want.
  • The Fight: What does it mean and where does it come from? An Essay:

Homosapien. A man. He is alone in the universe. A punker. Still a man. He is alone in the universe, but he connects. How? They hit each other. Ooh! No clearer way to evaluate whether or not you're alive. Now, complications. A reason to fight. Somebody different. Difference creates dispute. Dispute is a reason to fight. To fight is a reason to feel pain. Life is pain. So to fight with reason is to be alive with reason. Final analysis: To fight, a reason to live. Problems and Contradictions: I am an anarchist. I believe that there should be no rules, only chaos. Fighting appears to be chaos and when we slam in the pit a show it is. But when we fight for a reason, like rednecks, there's a system. We fight for what we stand for, chaos, but fighting is a structure, to establish power, power is government and government is not anarchy. Government is war and war is fighting. The circle goes like this: our redneck skirmishes are cheap perversions of conventional warfare. War implies extreme government because wars are fought to enforce rules or ideals, even freedom. But other people's ideals forced on someone else, even if it is something like freedom, is still a rule; not anarchy. This contradiction was becoming clear to me in the fall of '85. Even as early as my first party, "Why did I love to fight?" I framed it, but still, I don't understand it. It goes against my beliefs as a true anarchist. But there it was. Competition, fighting, capitalism, government, THE SYSTEM. That's what we did. It's what we always did. Rednecks kicked the shit out of punks, punks kicked the shit out of mods, mods kicked the shit out of skinheads, skinheads took out the heavy metal guys, and the heavy metal guys beat the living shit out of new wavers and the new wavers didn't do anything. They were the new hippies. So what was the point? Final summation? None.

  • Another thing that pisses me off, talking about who started punk rock music. Was it...the Sex Pistols in England? Was it... the Ramones and the Velvet Underground in New York? "It was the Ramones!", "It was the Sex Pistols!" Who cares who started it?! It's music. I don't know who started it, and I don't give a shit. The one thing I know is that we did it harder, we did it faster, and we definitely did it with more love baby. You can't take that away from us.
  • What do you do when your foundation falls apart? I don't know. They don't teach you that in school.
  • Only posers die!
  • See Sean was fucked up, not the world. The world was just confused, and not the world really, just the people in it.
  • It wasn't that I loved Sandy—I knew that we had an understanding—but I discovered then that Chris was right. All things had systems, even me. I was about to beat the living shit out of this guy because he invaded my territory. It was my territory, no question about it, just like in the wild. I was following nature, nature was order, and order is the system.

Heroin Bob

  • Chemicals, man. They'll fuck you up.
  • Well, it's a crazy, fucked up world! And we're all just barely floating along, waiting for somebody that can walk on water.
  • I hate doctors, man. I hate 'em.
  • You're like a poet, dude!
  • Those doctors can kiss my ASS!
  • How Goes It?


  • Satan is in the house, he killed my mom and turned her into a bull.
  • You're not Jesus! You're Bob!
  • Bob, you ARE Jesus.
  • If I get off this chair, I'll drown--you wanna know why, Bob? Because I can't swim...


Stevo: You're a Nazi, dad.
Dad: How can I be a Nazi, Steven? I'm Jewish.

Heroin Bob: You know that shit you guys do? You're fucking yourselves up, man. Fucking acid, it never leaves your body. It's in your fucking spinal cord forever. Let me tell you something about the nature of chemicals, man. You know that dude, Napoleon? Yeah. He was banished to an island when the French got sick of him. That's right! He supposedly died of stomach problems, right? Wrong! He was actually poisoned over a long period of time; murdered by arsenic, a preservative. And you know how?
Stevo: No idea.
Heroin Bob: His hair.
Stevo: His hair.
Heroin Bob: His fucking hair! It was arsenic. You could tell how long he was being poisoned by following the traces of poison up his hair. Dude, dude, dude, if you do enough hits of it, you're dead!
Stevo: Really makes you think, doesn't it, Bob?
Heroin Bob: Th-think what?
Stevo: That chemistry's the wrong fucking major for a guy like you! It's the wrong major, Bob!
Heroin Bob: Well, you should lay off the acid anyways, man!

Stevo: Wait, time out. I just wanted to ask real quick, if I can. You believe in rebellion, freedom and love, right?
Mom: Absolutely, yes.
Dad: Rebellion, freedom, love.
Stevo: You two are divorced. So love failed. Two: Mom, you're a New Ager, clinging to every scrap of Eastern religion that may justify why the above said love failed. Three: Dad, you're a slick, corporate, preppy-ass lawyer. I don't really have to say anything else about you do I dad? Four: You move from New York City, the Mecca and hub of the cultural world to Utah! Nowhere! To change nothing! More to perpetuate this cycle of greed, fascism and triviality. Your movement of the people, by and for the people got you... nothing! You just hide behind some lost sense of drugs, sex and rock and roll. Ooooh, Kumbaya! I am the future! I am the future of this great nation which you, father, so arrogantly saved this world for. Look, I have my own agenda. Harvard, out. University of Utah, in. I'm gonna get a 4.0 in damage. I love you guys! Don't get me wrong, it's all about this. But for the first time in my life, I'm 18 and I can say "FUUUUUCK YOU!"
Dad: Steven, I didn't sell out son. I bought in. Keep that in mind. That kid's gonna make a hell of a lawyer, huh?
Mom: Yeah, he takes after his father. He's a son of a bitch.
Dad: Fuck you dear.


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