"Headin out to Eden......yyyyeaaaaaaaa bruthaaa" I actually sing that to my 3 year old and 10 month old sometimes in the morning. How life changes!
As a child of the 70s and 80s somehow this was a key part of my hippie understanding. Although, growing up in the SF Bay area - a LOT of folks pretty much looked like these guys! In a way; this is a great reminder for me of what it was like to walk through Berkeley back then.
The songs to me are somewhat profound and I think in 50 years this episode will be used to explain the times to a T. Remember; the hippie movement and indeed the punk rock movement (to which I'm a bit more related to due to my age) were not orchestrations with 60 piece symphonies but improvisational from-the-heart verses that skipped a lot of fakery.
I've heard people who have commented that this episode as unqualified since it was written by a man in his 40's. Wow, I remember going to meetings as a 9 year old kid watching guys in their 40's telling kids in their 20's what to do and HOW to protest! And as far as it being unrealistic that the 'hippies would kill the enterprise and bail' to their Eden? How nave that thought is about the times and the hippie movement or any strong movement. Selfish people i.e. Jim Jones, Lenin, et al will do whatever it takes to take power and further their goals. If it means killing off an antiseptic flying aluminum space computer (Enterprise) or 3,000 people in South America with Kool-aid - then these are the choices they had to make. 1990's Heaven's Gate Cult was in the same boat. Hippies, Nazis, Zulus, whomever they'll do what's needed to get their long-smoked-over ideals implemented. Right?
The third season is the truest reflection of the times of all the seasons (of course) and it seems sometimes they almost completely lose their space subtext and went metaphor all-the-way. Case in point one of my favorite episodes "The Savage Curtain" which explains all you need to know about the conflict back then. Are we rid of it? Don't kid yourselves.