“Also I’d been reading articles and doing research about the raping and pillaging of the West by mining, timber, oil and cattle interests. But I was interested in a larger scope for this song, so I tried to go “Michener” with it. I remember going out to Malibu and standing on Zuma Beach, looking out at the ocean. I remember thinking “This is about as far west – with the exception of Alaska-as you can go on this continent. This is where Manifest Destiny ends – right here. In the middle of these surfboards and volleyball nets and motor homes.” And then I thought, “Nah, we’ve gone right on over and screwed up Hawaii too.”
I still think, though, that the song was never fully realized, musically speaking. It is fairly pedestrian from a musical point of view. But lyrically it is not bad. Especially the last verse, which turns it from one thing into another and it becomes an allegorical statement about religion – the deception and destructiveness that is inherent in the mythology of most organized religion- the whole “dominion” thing. This song is a reaffirmation of the age-old idea that everything in the universe is connected and there are consequences, downstream for everything we do.