ZIPPY- (Zen Inspired Pronoia Professional) Anyone who strives for balance between the brain's two hemispheres:
the creative side, which understands that vision, individuality, spontaneity, flexibility and open-mindedness are crucial to achieve anything on the spiritual plane;
and the pragmatic side, which understands that long-term organization, consistency and tenacity are necessary to achieve anything on the material plane.
The truth is that the term "zippy" is not static, and so is growing and changing to accommodate the growing ranks of zippies. Labels are a dangerous thing because while they are good at tying people together, they also can create exclusive and elitist attitudes. While it is true that there are certain aspects of the zippy origins that have determined the general character of the "typical" zippy, the overall feeling is that there should be no such thing as a typical zippy. It is not about the kind of music you listen to, or the clothes you wear, or how old you are. It is a movement of the mind, and can include anyone who is interested in expanding their consciousness (not just through drugs, but through learning, meditation or whatever), and creating a better future. Zippies tend to be more practical in their approach to bringing about change, and have the knowledge to use the high tech tools at their disposal.
PRONOIA is the opposite of paranoia: the sneaking suspicion others are conspiring to help you (and you them!) Symptoms of pronoia include: sudden attacks of optimism and outbreaks of goodwill. Used by zippies as a semiotic talisman or memetic virus.
In the late 1980's the British government was becoming more and more antagonistic towards the outdoor festivals and events that were being held by various counter-culture groups. Under increased pressure, hippies, ravers and others began to come into contact more often. Eventually, this contact, and threat of a common foe, led to a union of the various groups. The result of this union was the Zippies. The name, which was first coined by Fraser Clark in his UK magazine Encyclopeadia Psychedelica international (EPi), was meant to stand for hippies with zip, or more precisely Zen Inspired Pronoia Professionals.
In May of 1994, the cover article for WiReD Magazine was about the Zippies. Thus began the Zippy invasion of North America. The movement soon caught on because although it did not go by that name, many aspects of the scene were already well established here. By the end of May there was a news group devoted to the zippies on the internet, and despite heavy criticisms of the whole thing being one big media circus it continues to grow.
The characteristics of it's origins have created a certain style that surrounds the zippy scene. This style includes a love of dancing to powerful rhythms and psychedelic techno, ambient, trance or whatever. However, it is for those ravers who wish to get more out of the dancing experience than just a sweaty brow. Many Zippies are also interested in the broader possibilities of the mind, and see dancing as almost spiritual in nature (as well as a lot of fun!). This search for meaning and spirituality has led many people to look beyond the traditional established religions to their pagan roots. Neo-paganism and Magik are just of a few avenues that attract Zippies. The common bond of spirituality is also linked closely with the other common thing for many Zippies, and that is the belief in the power of technology. This is not some rosy-coloured vision from the Star Trek universe, but is an informed acknowledgement of the impact technology is having on civilization. It is our decision to use these tools in a positive and constructive manner, instead of just hopelessly trying to abandon or destroy the tech.
See the offical archive of the Zippy Pronoia Tour at:
Despite the criticisms of some, the zippies who comprised the Pronoia Tour were out to help change the world for the better, and were committed (at no small personal sacrifice) to spreading the pronoia meme and the zippy philosophy to as many minds and hearts as possible, by seducing the U.S. and int'l media. YES they tried to get resources and backing to keep spreading the meme. YES they manipulated the major media, and got their names in the papars. Their intentions were honorable, however, which was clear to any who met them or came to one of their events. More than a few people have apologized for wrongly pre-judging what they were all about, upon meeting them.
Did they sell out? Well, more than once they refused monetary assistance because they did not feel it was good karma to accept. They lost money at most of their events because they refused to charge, or when they did, they charged no more than $5 or $10. More than a few of them unregrettably went into deep debt from participating in the tour.
A UK counter-culturalist since the sixties, Clark was publisher of the underground UK magazines Encyclopeadia Psychedelica international (EPi) and evolution^, in which he coined the term "Zippy". Clark was also one of the creators of the club Megatripolis in London, the zippy hangout which, in its heyday, was known as the "hottest club in London". Megatripolis was a pioneer of the "Parallel University", the concept of offering live talks by philosophers, scientists and activists (along with supporting literature) to club-goers, set to ambient musical backgrounds.
Clark was also the primary spokeman for the Zippy Pronoia Tour.
Fraser Clark's home page is located at: http://www.megatripolis.org/fraser.html
Some of his more popular rants, including the famous "Shamanarchy in the UK" are located at: http://www.megatripolis.org/inspire.html
The future of the name "zippies" is unknown. Whether any of the Pronoia Tour zippies will take up the meme again remains to be seen. Megatripolis, as a concept, still exists at the Internet domain megatripolis.org (at: http://www.megatripolis.org/). The actual London club also exists, although it is a mere shade of its former glory. After the Pronoia Tour, Fraser Clark launched a short-lived San Francisco venture called Megatripolis West, which quickly folded.
Recently, the annual American Lollapalooza festival has begun to take up "zippy elements" such as the "Electronic Carnival" and "The Lab", exposing empowering technologies and ideas to more and more of America's music-loving youth.
As a concept, the "zippy balance of brain hemispheres" continues to blossom, as global youth culture becomes more empowered by emerging, decentralized technologies. The "technopagan" movement, and "cyberhippy" movement also continues to grow, as old spiritual structures are found to be lacking by many, in the waning days of the millenium. The name does not matter one bit~~ it is the idea which contains the power, and the hope.