This song finds Eddie Vedder singing of the ill-advised arrogance of modern humans and questioning whether we're really progressing as a culture. The singer told Rolling Stone he is pointing the finger mostly at America. "I wouldn't want to limit it to just our country," he said with a laugh. "But if you're a casting director, you'd say, 'Well, wow, this country certainly fits the part.' You know, we legalized gay marriage in the state of Washington at the same time we legalized pot, and it was a great reason to celebrate! But then, the Supreme Court made it more difficult for minorities and less fortunate people on the economic scale to vote. That was a huge step backward. We could've made two big strides forward. Instead, we're just, you know, prone, doing the splits."
Bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard wrote the song's music (the lyrics are Vedder's). "There's a lot going on in that track. It's three dimensional, you can really hear each instrument playing," Gossard, commented to Billboard magazine. "I think the melodies are so strong, the descending chords in the chorus and where Ed takes that vocally, it has this classic melody that is pretty instantaneous."