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The Chemical Generation: Boy George investigates how Ecstasy changed the world

It’s the analogy of a young happy couple moving into their first home. They decorate it. They like to fill it with those things that best represent their tastes, likes and overall loveliness. Sometimes they might add an extension, put in new windows, or knock down a few walls. One day the couple moves on to another house and a younger couple moves in. The fashions wrought are soon changed—but the structure of the house generally stays the same.

Every generation makes some claim to having changed the world. There may be some truth in it. Still however the furnishings may change, overall human nature usually remains stubbornly the same. Similar loves, hates, fears and worries never too far beneath the skin—or that fresh new coat of paint.

Folk singer Pete Seeger once claimed music could unify people and bring them all together as one big happy family—eliminating differences and highlighting shared pleasures. There was a similar belief held out for drugs in the 1960s when Harvard professor Dr. Timothy Leary urged everyone to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Poet Allen Ginsberg thought if every politician dropped acid then world peace would result.

But can the hedonistic pleasures of drugs and music ever really change the world?

In the 1960s, Baby Boomers claimed they had revolutionized the world—made it better, more peaceful, freer. Weed, LSD, birth control and music had liberated everyone. Yet this belief is often founding wanting by the wars, oppression, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and some truly awful music produced during that decade and ever since. Pop music may have been widely available but LSD was only there for a certain elite—if you lived outside of a metropolitan area, your drug of choice then was probably alcohol or aspirin.

Similarly in the 1980s the raved up Ecstasy Generation claimed they had revolutionized the world with their raves and pills. But was it true? Did gurning and dancing and getting sorted for E’s and wizz really change society that much? Access to drugs was far easier, sure a byproduct of the Baby Boomers in the sixties looking for new experiences. The illicit production of ecstasy was enormous, which meant more people could sample the goods. By the mid-1990s, the Observer newspaper estimated that some 52 million ecstasy tablets were taken every weekend in the UK alone. And this in a nation of 63 million people!

Did rave culture have a greater effect on the world than hippies in the trippy sixties? If so how and what exactly (if anything) changed?

Superstar, singer, DJ, and famous former druggie Boy George is the ideal host to investigate these questions in this fascinating documentary The Chemical Generation. The ever radiant George examines the acid house, rave and club culture revolution, with considerable reference to the generation’s favorite chemical: methylenedioxy-methamphetamine—MDMA or ecstasy for short.

First broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 in 2000, The Chemical Generation tells the story of British club and drug culture from the early days of Acid House. Interviewing those on the front line—promoters, bouncers, drug dealers, clubbers, DJs (Danny Rampling, Judge Jules, Nicky Holloway, Pete Tong, Lisa Loud, Mike Pickering), top cops (Ken Tappenden, former Divisional Commander of Kent Police) and those cultural figures who have written about ecstasy culture (Irvine Welsh, Dave Haslam).

As an introductory note, a brief history to rave culture in the UK goes something like this:

In 1987 four working class males, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker found themselves in clubs across Ibiza, listening to the music which was to make them legends in the dance scene and transform the face of youth subculture in Britain. Not only did they discover the musical genre of Acid House, played by legendary house DJ’s Alfredo Fiorillo and Jose Padilla in clubs such as Amnesia and Pacha, they were also crucially introduced to the drug MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy. Johnny Walker describes the experience:

“It was almost like a religious experience; a combination of taking ecstasy and going to a warm, open-air club full of beautiful people - you’re on holiday, you feel great and you’re suddenly being exposed to entirely different music to what you were used to in London. This strange mixture was completely fresh and new to us, and very inspiring”

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Decorate with drugs: Massive ecstasy pills make for ultra-cool pop art
10:10 am



Ecstasy is the only truly postmodern drug, and not just in terms of its place in history, or the completely “I’m so intensely into the many facets of this thing right now”/“I LOVE YOU GUYS” high. Ecstasy has always been produced and marketed with absolutely no aversion to literal branding. Not only are pills produced in pretty colors with cute little logos, the logos themselves are oftentimes the already immediately recognizable icons of corporate giants. It makes sense, too. You might not remember some elaborate little image on the face of a pill after a night of dancing on Molly, but you’ll probably remember the golden arches, the Rolls Royce logo or the Playboy bunny. That Rolls Royce was the best, gotta get more of that, right? See how that works?

A graffiti artist since the age of 14, Dean Zeus Colman now works under his nom d’arts “Zeus,” combining his urban artistic sensibilities with his formal training from Chelsea College of Art. Realizing the obvious pop art potential of ecstasy tablets, Zeus produced these plaster sculptures modeled after actual ecstasy pills to sleek, modern effect. The cheeky chic series is called, called “Love is a Drug,” and you should definitely buy me the Bart Simpson one.



More ecstatic art, after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
This anti-drug PSA might actually encourage kids to take drugs
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This—let’s face it, kinda hilarious—anti-drug PSA is supposed to discourage people from taking drugs (MDMA) at this year’s Labor Day weekend Electric Zoo (New York’s Electronic Music Festival).

In fact, the festival is planning to make “all concertgoers watch a short PSA before attending.”

Now I’ve watched this PSA several times and I don’t think it’s going to have any effect on anyone. At all. It may even encourage more of “pass me the Molly, please.” The guy is just full of love. I could see lots of folks wanting to feel exactly this way. Besides, he just wanted to touch the lady’s hair. I mean, she does have nice hair.

At the end it says “Don’t miss the moment.” Are they talking about this guy? He’s so in the fucking moment that it hurts.

via Village Voice

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bitcoin, the gateway drug: Apparently there’s now Bitcoin ecstasy
03:29 pm



It used to be that you bought drugs on Silk Road using Bitcoins, but now you buy Bitcoin drugs with real currency.

Switzerland-based Redditor Omnibrain uploaded the above image with this caption:

I heard some guy in the restroom of a club talking about bitcoins. After a short, extremely confusing conversation, he showed me what he was talking about…

Masongy on reviewed his/her experience taking the Bitcoin-themed ecstasy back in February, 2014:


dropped 1 of these pills at 8.30pm(crunched)and came up furiously within 15 minutes. Lovely waves of rushes, eye wobbles and some serious gurning (went through 2 packs of spoggy)! Felt SO loved up, there was some massive group hugs going around. Peaked after about 50 minutes and felt amazing. MDM-AZING! Dropped another half later on when peak started to wear off. And then another half in the small hours. Dancing like crazy to Trevor Nelson on 1EXTRA, inhibitions totally went so poppped a few moves I’d normally be incapable of. This was a flashback to the old days, my Mrs. was rushing so much she just layed there with a crazy gurn during the peak. All in all a GREAT night, with my Mrs and best mate there and all, my new mate too on his 21st birthday…

Easily as advertised. A good 200mg banger! Happy partying.

Remember kiddies, don’t do drugs. And definitely don’t do Bitcoin!

Via Nerdcore and ANIMAL

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Sorted for E’s and Wizz: Man Takes 40,000 Hits of Ecstasy in Nine Years
10:16 pm



Bez from the Happy Mondays has nothing to do with this article.
Why would someone do this to themselves? I mean, no wonder! How the hell did this guy expect he’d end up after taking 40,000 E’s?

Doctors from London University have revealed details of what they believe is the largest amount of ecstasy ever consumed by a single person. Consultants from the addiction centre at St George’s Medical School, London, have published a case report of a British man estimated to have taken around 40,000 pills of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, over nine years. The heaviest previous lifetime intake on record is 2,000 pills. Though the man, who is now 37, stopped taking the drug seven years ago, he still suffers from severe physical and mental health side-effects, including extreme memory problems, paranoia, hallucinations and depression. He also suffers from painful muscle rigidity around his neck and jaw which often prevents him from opening his mouth. The doctors believe many of these symptoms may be permanent.

The man, known as Mr A in the report in the scientific journal Psychosomatics, started using ecstasy at 21. For the first two years his use was an average of five pills per weekend. Gradually this escalated until he was taking around three and a half pills a day. At the peak, the man was taking an estimated 25 pills every day for four years. After several severe collapses at parties, Mr A decided to stop taking ecstasy. For several months, he still felt he was under the influence of the drug, despite being bedridden.

His condition deteriorated and he began to experience recurrent tunnel vision and other problems including hallucinations, paranoia and muscle rigidity. “He came to us after deciding that he couldn’t go on any more,” said Dr Christos Kouimtsidis, the consultant psychiatrist at St George’s Medical School in Tooting who treated him for five months. “He was having trouble functioning in everyday life.”

The doctors discovered that the man was suffering from severe short-term memory problems of a type usually only seen in lifetime alcoholics. But evaluating the full extent of his condition was difficult as his concentration and attention was so impaired he was unable to follow the simple tasks involved in the test.

“This was an exceptional case. His long- term memory was fine but he could not remember day to day things - the time, the day, what was in his supermarket trolley,” said Dr Kouimtsidis. “More worryingly, he did not seem aware himself that he had these memory problems.”
Below, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker sings his wryly observed outsider’s tale of being on E at a rave and not quite getting it, Sorted for E’s and Wizz:

The strange case of the man who took 40,000 ecstasy pills in nine years

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment