Interpretations:The World Before Later On
In all honesty, I believe that it could be a soliloquy of a time traveler-- and perhaps some comrades who tagged along, since the lyrics involve a "we"-- a soliloquy, or even more than that, a lament, over a destroyed time machine. After going into the past, they realized that somehow they could not return to the future that they were so accustomed to. This is what I felt when I first heard the song. -- J Navarro
Flans articulating the disappointment that many of his generation feel that the future, spectacular though it might be, it is not the sci fi utopian he imagined as a child. (Mr Tuck)
The simplest interpretation of the lyrics is also the most obvious: The singer is complaining about the fact that he does not live in the wonderful world that the future will bring. While this interpretation is certainly visible in the majority of the lyrics, there is another, deeper concept: No one ever lives in this future, because when it arrives, the technology is commonplace and no longer exciting. The last line is the key to this idea: Where are all the complications we won't see around? The point is that we don't see them around (hence the singer asking where they are) but that we take this for granted. For those who have trouble understanding my rather badly-worded explanation, consider the fact that we never reach "tomorrow", because when we get there, it has become "today". ~Etaoin
Building off of Mr. Tuck's interp, Flans can also be describing his disappointment in growing older- as a child one may look forward to being a grown-up who seems to know everything. But suddenly one realises they're definately all grown up, yet there's nothing magically understood now (Where's the font of acquired wisdom that eludes me now?). As a child one may thnk everything will be easier when one is older, once one can drive, drink, buy a house etcetera- but age still doesn't live up to your expectations. (Where are all the complications we won't see around? ) There are still many problems. -Bazilisk
My 2c on "Where are all the complications we won't see around?"...
It's not about complications that aren't appearing in the present-tense due to our technology being commonplace to us already, but rather the lack of unanticipated complications that arise from introduction of new technology too quickly on a massive scale. A lack of technological growing pains, so to speak. It seems the scientists are just moving too damn slow for poor flans. *raul infustigado*
In reply to Etaoin's interpretation: the first time I read this song title it reminded me of this little riddle. Which is to say, I agree with your interpretation completely, but would like to add that calling it 'later on' instead of 'the future' is most likely in reference to Wearing A Raincoat.
I'd like to comment on these "complications (that) we won't see around"... I think the author refers to the utopian 50's sci fi like future that finally never arrives (as Mr. Tuck commented already), a future where a lot of today's complications were supposed to dissapear, the XIX Century's positivist mentality that promised that hunger, war, poverty and so many other complications, would be over by the end of the 20th Century... Where are all those promises, where are all the solved problems that we were supposed to be riden of... I also think that applies to "the font of adquired wisdom that eludes me now", a source of infalible knowledge and wisdom that science claimed to provide or that we were supposed to have available through the information technology, like computers, or even the Internet, which instead of a source of wisdom rather became a source of uncertainty and useless data...
Much apart from any lyrical interpretation, I like to think of this song as a parody of The Flaming Lips, circa Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. It somewhat reverses the standpoint of that album's song "All We Have is Now," with a (kind of) similar arrangement. -Werstyq
The term "space face" appears in David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream", from his 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Pretty futuristic. So, as the phrase "space face" is mentioned in this sci-fi themed track, I believe it could fittingly be considered a reference to Bowie's song. What do you guys think? Freakiosis 16:24, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Part 10 of The Spine
The Skullivan wakes up in a dream, where he realizes that he's trapped, and there is no hope for his progression into the future. Eventually, he starts referring to himself as "we". When he wakes up, he realizes he has to do something.
Singers: The Skullivan