The Information

Reviewed by: Derek Miller
Reviewed on: 2006-10-02

Posted 10/02/2006 - 06:24:40 AM by angrymice:
 Your links to Scientology seem dubious at best. Beck has never been one to wear his Scientology on his sleeve and anyway, for most people in the 'religion' (if it can be called that), the sci-fi elements play a very small role. Even if one could get Beck to talk about Scientology, and he is known to be tremendously reserved about it, I seriously doubt he would see any major influence from Scientology on his lyrics, themes, or music. If there is one, it's probably quite subconcious. Personally, if there's any reservations about Beck being a Scientologist, it's simply that a portion of his income probably goes to support the church, an organization I have a bit of a problem. As for attempting to find links to Scientology in any of Beck's records, though, it seems like a tremendously useless endeavor. Thankfully you didn't let it take up your entire review, which, for the most part is quite informative. Seriously though, did anyone else have any inkling, given the title of this record, that it would have anything to do with Scientology? Because I sure as hell didn't. It's like assuming Sea Changes would be about The Sea Org.
Posted 10/02/2006 - 09:20:01 AM by Richie_A:
 I think you got this one just about right, good review (though I do like Dark Star and 1000BPM). It's feels like cluttered messiness whereas Odelay felt like inspired messiness, though it's evident he can still craft a good tune. As for the Scientology in the lyrics, there are certainly a few lines where you could read that into it, but there are probably a few lines like that on a whole lot of albums.
Posted 10/02/2006 - 09:47:07 AM by J_R_K_:
 Guero is justly underrated.
Posted 10/02/2006 - 11:03:46 AM by florenz6:
 In my opinion, Scientology can be seen as a fascist organization. if Beck is part of that group, he´s history in my record collection. Simple as that. And, by the way, artists should not be so reluctant to speak about their realationship to Scientology (in case there is one). Courageous journalists could at least try to open their minds by confronting them with some of the texts of their "guru", Mr. Hubbard.
Posted 10/02/2006 - 08:36:56 PM by hunky_dory:
 florenz6, Christianity's pretty fucking fascist--would you dismiss Sufjan Stevens for the Chrsitian underpinnings of his songs? Pretty shallow way to judge, imo. Jus' sayin'. I don't even like Sufjan. Chainsmokekansasflashdanceasspants.
Posted 10/02/2006 - 09:36:46 PM by :
 As a Scientologist; from one who insides your assumptions, angrymice, is not church support, is not a religion either. Logical positivists yes. We don`t speak of it because it can`t be spoken of. But the Scientologistic-logy can be hinted at. It`s always behind a curtain and can be known as I am knowing it to you now. See :) So now you have an inkling of the twinkle in Beck`s blue eye. You think him shying away from supposition. Hunkydory and Florenz both offer us in-my-opinions and jus sayin`s which is the soft shy approach too. I was a Scientologist once but it was a name without a label. In other words you are either in or you are out, but with Scientology, you are permeable; the knowledge passes through. You make a donation, it goes to charity and the world wraps itself around Scientology which assumes other cultures` religions, traditions, practices and beliefs and never tries to out them. So, I was a Scientologist. But I`m not. Not not now, but wasn`t one ever. But you have to know how to step into a Scientologist`s shoes, and that`s what The Information lets you do. Beck`s always been clever & here he`s side stepped himself.
Posted 10/03/2006 - 04:37:12 AM by meatbreak:
 The-Disexists: Thank you for your nonsensical and contradicory, and incoherent ramble about your time in the arms of a deluded crackpot 'religion' (nee, dubious money making sheme). So Scientology is similar to Buddhism in it's acceptance of all religions. O.K. But Buudhism is more of an attitudinal belief system, rather than a dogmatic religion. Still, at least they don't say aliens showed them a video of earths history inside a volcano. Oh, is that the kind of information you can't speak about? Probably why scientologists don't go into details. The knowledge passes through all right - who would want to hold that nonsense in their brain. Oh right, Beck, yeah. He's always been a minature weirdo. The album? It's just not Mellow Gold, is it.
Posted 10/03/2006 - 09:11:54 PM by :
 Haha. That`s funny. There are two Scientologies. One is the scifi version the world receives, the other is the insider`s truth. You seriously think Scientologists aren`t laughing their asses off? I told you already. It`s a charitable distribution of funds. The whole alien/volcano thing is a smokescreen to keep out the cynical unwanted. You.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 04:39:09 AM by meatbreak:
 Oh yes, the Insiders Truth - also known as 'Disconnection' - the practice of Scientology leaders to encourage and mediate the shunning of families members who try and discourage an individuals participation in the cult. Disconnection is not an option. As you say, 'you are either in or out'. Or perhaps you are referring to 'Auditing', where cult members must pay a premiuim to have hypnosis to erase memories and thought processes that may hinder the 'Dissconection' from society into Scientoloy. Some may call that brainwashing.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 07:08:46 AM by florenz6:
 Thanks, meatbreak, refreshing! And "brainwashing" is the right word! But, of course, scientologists do have certain categories to put critical voices into.A simple black-and-white-system. This works fine for them and reduces the available amount of self-criticism. There is no reason to practise tolerance when confronted with fascist ways of thinking! Reason has a hard job to do here! And, by the way, in the history of Christianity, there have always been free thinkers who worked against the repressive forces inside that religion! So, no problem with Sufjan Stevens. Don´t think so simple, hunky_dory. It´s a bit more twisted.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 09:06:17 AM by J_R_K_:
 the only thing more boring than beck doing another wanna be odelay record is this discussion.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 09:08:05 AM by J_R_K_:
 oh yeah, and i sat through battlefield earth (on a dare). so i think i know the insider's truth. you have no idea how much self-reflection and patience it takes to sit through that movie.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 11:30:15 AM by meatbreak:
 Hey, come on! Winding up religions is the most fun you can have. Until your bus blows up.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 11:57:25 PM by :
 Talking your mouth through the million wormholes and along currents of vibrating thought electricity to arrive lost at some inconceivable "location" in a time immemorable before the Big Bang about beliefs and the fundamental root of our being which doesn`t exist and must as inexorably linked with the genesis of those burning bright things in the night sky is about as much fun as you can have, before some twat blows his dead and blowsy nose into your mind-drills boring their way out of said "location" back to a sense of physical contact with the world, such as my fingers touching on these keys. These appropriations you speak of "Disconnection" and "Auditing"; everything you`ve read and purport to `know` about our fascinating topic of discussion is the hard outside casing of a hollow brazil nut. In the middle at the top of the leader`s ladder lies the knowledge that it`s a hollow empty nothingness that you climb to, and armed with that knowledge, you then joyfully spread the rumour about "Disconnection" and "Auditing" and any other self-nullifying concept you know most common folk would baulk at because you realise you`ve made it to a position where you can play `god` and create for the sheer fun of it. (whilst making charitable donations to help the poor and needy, and having a hell of a laugh about it in the process.)
Posted 10/05/2006 - 08:13:03 AM by florenz6:
 Don´t foregt your pills, my friend!
Posted 10/06/2006 - 08:36:26 AM by J_R_K_:
 if you were really a member you wouldn't be on the net, you'd be trying to network with a fellow celebrity nutcase.
Posted 10/06/2006 - 12:57:17 PM by florenz6:
 Very polite, J_R_K. But I think, the master pupil has turned his back and continued his search for sweet nothingness.(I think he has found it already, but it´s not that sweet. It´s a bad joke.) There is an album out now, very promising, with songs from Eno/Wyatt, Laure Anderson, Scott Walker a.o., thematically related to the ten plagues. They should have done another song about the 11th plague: fundamentalism. Some people need leaders, they need a special language, they are keen on "ego-lifting" and they want to be sure who the enemy is. These people like to speak about love and a clear mind and love again, but quite often you will find something very ugly surrounding these nice concepts of transcendental and unconditioned love.
Posted 10/06/2006 - 08:11:44 PM by Utica5:
 um... the problem with scientology is the same problem with all religions, i.e. they fabricate elaborate belief structures with some internal logic that prevents one from questioning the existence of the structure from within. that's why disexists and meatwhatever are disargreeing so fervently: because one is questioning the existence of a structure whose specifics he is not familiar with, while the other is defending the coherence of the structure which itself has precluded the posibility of his ever asking, "wait, is this just a scam?" believe what you want to, disexists, i really mean that. but don't forget that after having said that scientology accepts all faiths, you then told us that everything we thought we knew about scientology was a "smokescreen to keep out the cynical unwanted". from outside your belief structure, that doesn't reek of spirituality.
Posted 10/07/2006 - 01:36:03 PM by meatbreak:
 Meatwhatever?! The cheek. Anyway, no, I am not familiar with the specifics from the structure on the inside, but it's only a religion and the basic principles of the internal structures are all the same, so it matters not whether one knows the intricacies. The fact that it is a system of beliefs that exludes any questioning of the framework or dogmas laid down for the followers (or mental prisoners if you like - leave your freedom of thought at the door when you enter these sacred vows of worship and practice). Note that Disexists says 'As A Scientologist' then later says 'I was a Scientologist...but not now'. I think he's confused himself enough (I assume it's a he, don't we all?) without our intervention. Utica5, you're not quite right when you say we are disagreeing - you can't really disagree with these religious tihngs because they are not based on anything other than abstract thought (something you acknowledge by permitting us to believe whatever we want). The problem is that religious thought is pretty much a psychosese or a delusion of thought, so no discussion will bring about change - Have you ever really known someone to change their mind? Disexists isn't really sure whether he has or not.
Posted 10/08/2006 - 09:25:35 AM by florenz6:
 Meatbreak, now I realized, you are the guy with the alternative ranking of Bonny Prince Billy-albums.It will be nice to meet on that more inspiring level again. Your sentence with religion of buses was great - I think you would enjoy to read Sam Harris´"The End of Faith - Religion, Terror and the The Future of Reason". I´m more on the agnostic side, by the way. Have a great Sunday!
Posted 10/08/2006 - 02:43:59 PM by meatbreak:
 Thanks. Yup, that's me. I hope something more inspiring comes along soon too. Which albums are we waiting for? Laters, F6.
Posted 10/09/2006 - 11:28:58 PM by Utica5:
 dear meatdude, people having the right to believe what they want is not about religious thought being wholly abstract (it's not). it's about who am i to tell anyone they can't believe something just because it's demonstrably false. it's about facism and stuff, like never telling people what they can and cannot think. you also say all religious thought is delusional, some kind of logical no-man's-land where arguments have no effect. it may feel that way quite often, but just as often the problem is failing to initially take their beliefs seriously, setting an antagonistic tone for the debate, and eliminating the possibility of common ground. p.s. thanks for the cheek
Posted 10/10/2006 - 05:30:54 AM by florenz6:
 There is no common ground with Scientology, Utica! For many sad reasons!
Posted 10/10/2006 - 09:19:26 AM by :
 We seem to have a lot of opinionated theologists tackling this problem now, although none (including mine) are experts or members of scientology, and all are armed with a little (dangerous?) information. As one who was never a Scientologist now nor ever was, I too. But I try to imagine me as one and that me`s scientology would be Kaufmanesque, as in, er, just havin` a laugh mate. Spinning an imaginary line, an experiment. Our opinions are collective, hence the plurality of our login. Hence the inconsistency. But we all fall under the collective umbrella don`t we brothers, I mean sisters, I mean the `hood. We create something that is nonsensical and see how others can find sense in it, and then we go with that and we blow it up & see where it will lead. L Ron Hubbard. But just imagine is all we`re saying, that the world is Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. Google it, read it. We can`t reverse time. You can`t unread what you`ve read. You`ve read it, become a part of it, & you are irrecoverably changed imperceptibly.
Posted 10/10/2006 - 09:28:14 AM by :
 You! You`re not finished with me yet. Not what you believe but, that you believe. That fact. To choose to believe. To choose willingly to believe. To be led to understand that to believe is in itself an end. Not what you believe, but that fact of your believing and that willingness to deny not the possibility that the belief is false, but that to not believe is to not be. I`m leaving this discussion
Posted 10/10/2006 - 10:43:06 AM by florenz6:
 Your last sentence is very promising, Di-Sexists. Hope you stick to it.
Posted 10/10/2006 - 03:28:54 PM by meatbreak:
 I'm glad I got the bit about Disexist being confused about his history as a scientologist before he proved me right. Possibly he was trying to be controversial, but from the cut of his jib I'm more inclined to infer that the brainwashing I mentioned earlier has had a severe, adverse and possibly irreversible effect on our Hoods' brain. Thankfully we have been directed to what amounts to futuristic Lord of the Rings. Look here fellow non/dis/un/won't/can't/shan't/shouldawouldacoulda-believers . And to think, I was just about to apologise to Utica5 for coming on a bit antagonistic, as that wasn't my intention. Condescending, possibly. Now? Definitly. We'll all meet again when the Infra-Earth spuns inter-cackwise off it's axis. From Asimov to L. Ron - that was the giant leap for mankind. RIP.
Posted 10/10/2006 - 03:30:11 PM by meatbreak:
 Dammit, my link didn’t work. Let’s try that again shall we? The Truth
Posted 10/10/2006 - 08:28:42 PM by :
 Thanks for your link. For those dwindling few who are still returning to this discussion check it out on the Wikipedia. Meatbreak has added a slash "/" to the end of the title so his link leads to an empty page. I say check it out because the story is relevant to, well, my viewpoint at least.
Posted 10/11/2006 - 04:13:46 AM by meatbreak:
 It's not totally blank, but I did make a bit of a cock-up.
Posted 10/13/2006 - 10:17:11 AM by J_R_K_:
 D'exit, please is disexist in this conversation. your complete lack of coherency and Kaufmanesque scientologist put on is nearly as intolerable as your using the word "Kaufmanesque".
Posted 10/24/2006 - 10:11:31 AM by johnedowney:
 So, yeah. If a religion works for you, whoopie. Just don't shove it down anybody's throats and we'll all be a-okay.
Posted 11/16/2006 - 05:00:59 PM by shrubbery:
 Instead of focusing on the music and assessing it objectively the reviewer took the typical, Beck and his connection to Scientology angle. Though few doubt the dubious nature of Scientology and its follower, I for one would like to read a review that didn't try to pick out lyrics that link to Scientology, but instead focused on his success or failure on The Information. To make matters worse instead of actually comments about the validity of the review there are 32 comments either arguing for or against Scientology. Let's stick to the music next time muppets.
Posted 11/17/2006 - 12:58:53 PM by florenz6:
 RE: Shrubber. Sometimes the so-called marginal things are more important than the topic itself. For example: a Leni Riefenstahl-Film can be seen from its aestehtic values only, but it makes much more sense to see it as a public relations-thing for Hitler! In this way you can be trapped by music, too, Shrubber! Funny enough, the guy who seemed to be a scientologist, said he was only faking for whatever reasons. At least the discussion was, on parts, interesting. Got it? This is my "information" for you!
Posted 11/21/2006 - 05:57:12 PM by shrubbery:
 I can see where you are coming from. Yes, our culture, religion, age, race etc all influence our perception of the world and it's natural to conceive an artist using these things in their music. Yet here you are comparing Leni Riefenstahl-film and their association to Hitler, yes sometimes the context overruns the aesthetics but you can't be limited to that. The discussion is wholly limited if you only focus on the context. The actual work should always be the forefront and should be self-sufficient. In Beck's case we can spend hours discussing his interest in scientology and its impact on his music but we can't limit our discussion to that. His music and the context of his music should both be looked at objectively, but when it all comes down to it we will remember the work before we remember his religious affiliations.