~ The Official Zippy FAQ 2.0 ~

Compiled by John Bagby, updated from the original draft by Ian Hooper.



Also see the official archive web site of the Zippy Pronoia Tour at:

http://myhouse.com/pronoia/tour/tour.html




1. What is a zippy?
2. What is pronoia?
3. What are the origins and history of the zippy movement?
4. Do the zippies have a leader or heirarchy?
5. Who are the zippies' natural allies?
6. Do the zippies have ties with the zippies of the late 60's / early 70's?
7. Do the zippies advocate drug use?
8. Who was the Zippy Pronoia Tour?
9. Were the Pronoia Tour zippies "sell-outs" exploiting the rave scene for fame/profit?
10. Did the Pronoia Tour claim to be leaders of the movement?
11. Who is Fraser Clark?
12. What is the future of zippies?



  1. What is a zippy?

    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.



  2. What is pronoia?

    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.



  3. What are the origins and history of the Zippy movement?

    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.



  4. Do the zippies have a leader or heirarchy?

    NO and NO. Zippies are like hippies- the name is merely a memetic device for the purpose of describing similar groups of like-minded people throughout the world. The name was thought up in order to pre-empt a negative label being applied by the mass media... and it worked. Zippies value equality, diversity and individuality, and fear that any semblence of hierarchy will destroy this equality. The truth is that any one zippy attains whatever acclaim they have from their merits, and any leaders will thrive or fail on their merits.



  5. Who are the zippies' natural allies?

    Zippies live under a big tent. The most natural allies of the zippy philosophy are cooperative anarchists, cyberhippies, ravers, Deadheads, some goths, and technopagans of every color and type. In the past, some "celebrities" have appeared to help the zippy cause, including: Terence McKenna, John Perry Barlow, RU Sirius, Tim Leary, the band Deee-Lite, and Irresistible Force (Mixmaster Morris). Anyone who believes in pronoia is a friend of zippies.


  6. Do the zippies have ties with the zippies of the late 60's / early 70's?

    NO. The zippies of the 60s and 70s were a radical political group begun by Tom Forcade, founder of High Times Magazine, and were a mutated offshoot of the Yippies. Although some of their methods are the same as the "old Zippies" (like manipulation of the media), the goals are very different. Oh, and Bill Griffith's cartoon character is not affiliated with the zippy subculture, although many zippies think the comic strip is utterly brilliant.



  7. Do the zippies advocate drug use?

    Zippies do not advocate infringement upon personal freedoms, as long as the practice of those freedoms do not infringe upon the rights of others. Zippies believe in the expansion of consciousness by whatever method works, whether that be meditation, transcendental dance, or psychedelic drug use. Generally, zippies shy away from destructive "dominator drugs" like tobacco, alcohol, crystal meth, cocaine and heroin. Most zippies are fascinated by the natural healing and explorative powers of organic psycho-actives, used by indigenous healers all over the planet since the beginning of time.



  8. Who was the Zippy Pronoia Tour?

    The Zippy Pronoia Tour was a group of fourteen British, Irish, African and American zippies who rode the media wave created by WiReD Magazine's cover story in May of1994. At personal expense, they traveled from London to New York, to Colorado, to the Rainbow Gathering in Wyoming, and finally to California, throwing free or inexpensive raves, supporting the Pronoia meme and successfully seducing major media publications throughout the world. The Pronoia Tour also added the element of Internet communications to the British zippy subculture, although the Net had been used by American zippies for years.

    See the offical archive of the Zippy Pronoia Tour at:

    http://myhouse.com/pronoia/tour/tour.html



  9. Were the Pronoia Tour zippies "sell-outs" exploiting the rave scene for fame/profit?

    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.



  10. Did the Pronoia Tour claim to be leaders of the movement?

    Of course, many people in the world were ALREADY zippies before the label came into being. The Pronoia Tour zippies were not saying anything new to these people. The Pronoia Tour zippies were more like ambassadors or representatives of the subculture to those who had not heard of such things before. They claimed no special, messiah-like position, and understood that as individuals, they were simply vessels of a larger pattern. They did the Tour in order to help counter the forces of domination that are trying so desperately to keep this planet in darkness. Many feel the Pronoia Tour made strides on behalf of the global rave community-- by helping debunk false myths about "drug-crazed freaks" and "drop-out hedonism"... hopefully planting the idea in the minds of permit issuers and cops on the beat that-- hey-- ravers are good, intelligent, loving kids trying to have some honest fun.



  11. Who is Fraser Clark?

    Fraser Clark is an elder Scottish zippy who was one of the first people to recognize the synergy arising from the "festi-rave crossover", namely the merging of British New Age Travellers and Ravers under common repression and harrassment from the British government.

    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



  12. What is the future of zippies?

    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.




The Zippy Pronoia Tour site was developed by cubensis@well.com © 1995.
Extra special thanks to the gracious, skoochin' internet love-fest.