Its ironic that I'm reading this thread from Nimbin (I'm working in the Internet Cafe here), nibbling on a cookie.
As for the OP, I dunno if you could put it down to eckkies alone.
I remember the late 80s/early 90s (vaguely tho), for a while people who took e looked outside themselves as well. I think heroin had as much to do with the dumbing down of the minds on the edge, and turning them inward.
But an association with a drug fueled lifestyle, as an end in itself - that was part of the problem. If drugs were a side issue, like coffee and tobacco are, then perhaps the whole thing would be different. There are plenty of times when I have worked on useful stuff and chain smoked (tobacco) and drank coffee non stop, but without thinking about it. Not even noticing their effects.
But their effects are to a certain extent, to clear the head and help you concentrate. they are legal accepted and no one thinks about it.
If all drugs were like that people could obsess about other stuff and get their "cool" fix some other way.
The role 'ecstasy' has played in turning the sharpest (and dullest, and everything in between) young minds of the last few generations in upon themselves, diverting their attention away from the external world, and making it seem good and right that an inward turn be taken, could hardly be overstated.
I think other things are just as responsible.
Pop psychology and "self help" or "personal developmnent", and much of the dodgy side of the New Age. The "Secret" and all that rot.
Just as responsible, possibly more so.
Feeling unhappy? Don't get political, get therapy.
I'm not saying drug use is problem free, but I don't think its as responsible as a general culture of looking inward to solve your problems. That culture has been promoted since the social unrest of the 60s.
Of course e's in combination with ideas and memes to make you look inward - that would involve a feedback loop that created (wait for it) ... synergy.
As for Kylie Minogue. I think being murdered by Nick Cave and those gold hot pants ... thats her popularity in a nutshell. (I used to go to the same nightclubs as her and Jason Donovan sometimes, back in the days right before they made it big, when they were still Scott and Charlene on neighbours. They used to sit in the corner upstairs where no one would notice and snog like mad. Most of the time no one would even notice they were there. Kylie was no different to the other 4000000000 private school eastern suburbs girls that inhabit most trendy nightclubs. About 10% of the Aussie ones her age, build and hair colour are called Kylie too, wtf is that about? I've gone out with 2 and known more.)
And MDMA has been the chief factor influencing all sides of this equation. It made Kylie gravitate towards better people to help her make her songs. It allowed these people to help make better songs for Kylie. It made Kylie's music a real revelation for her fans, and made her music acceptable for her hitherto non-fans. And it gave prominence to the mood of acceptance of Kylie's right to be Kylie for even her staunchest critics.
The question I want to pose is, even if everybody involved thinks there's no harm and no foul involved here, has there indeed been harm done, and have we simply failed to recognise it?
I spose we should allow kylie the right to be kylie, after all anything else is a bit fascist. Its not the ecky, its the cuteness and the hotpants tho. If Nick cave was allowed to bash her to death with a rock for being Kylie, then afterwards we can't really whinge about her can we.
Lets face it, if her songs got better whats the problem? (Tho thats a matter of debate in itself.) There's always been that genre of crap dance music and its always been as connected to eckies as anyone, the harm (if there's any) is in the values of that particular subculture. Those values are often driven by pointless vain consumerist materialism.
I don't think Kylie has actually extended the reach or power of that subculture's values tho.
I found this thread open when I got back from lunch, so someone else has been surfing here under my name for the last hour. I know who so it shouldn't be an issue.