We are all guilty of being idiots once in a while. The key is to keep your idiot self in check and to keep things in perspective. The keeping things in perspective is essential in RC. This is because no matter what, they’re just toys. Yup, I used the toy word. Sure, they’re pretty sophisticated, complicated and sometimes even expensive, but they’re still just toys. Anyway, the point is RC–no matter how serious you are about the hobby–is not worth being an idiot over. You’re probably thinking that you’re never an idiot and this article isn’t for you. Hopefully you’re right and it isn’t, but there are so many kinds of RC idiots that you may not even realize that you are indeed an RC idiot on occasion. Check out some of the RC idiots we’ve identified and make sure you’re not guilty as charged.
DRIVERS’ STAND NAZIS
We’ve all seen them and we’ve probably also lost our cool a few times on the drivers’ stand when things aren’t exactly going our way, but the true idiots are the ones who don’t just blurt something on rare occasion. No, they rage. They’re the guys that you watch and have to wonder how they can possibly be having fun when they’re that mad that often. These guys yell when they get hit by another truck and when corner marshals don’t risk life and limb to rescue them. They get to the point that they yell even when they do the hacking because, as a true idiot, it’s never their fault. While everyone can have a bad day, the only way to cure being a Drivers’ Stand Nazi is to take a break.
Not all RC vehicles are the same, but whether you have a simple basher or a hardcore racing machine–it’s still just a toy. Some RC vehicles are better than others, but just because your RC vehicle is better than someone else’s it doesn’t mean you’re better than them. And, winning the 1/8-scale A-main doesn’t make you the next James “Bubba” Stewart–or even remotely close. RC is only as serious as you make it and not everyone is as serious as the next guy. Racers aren’t better than bashers and experienced and dedicated racers aren’t better than new or casual racers. We’re all in this silly hobby together. I still get a kick out of a racer who once proudly (and snidely) proclaimed he never bashed–not even once. He said he didn’t get it. Really? You’ve never done RC just for fun and can’t even wrap your head around the idea? How impressive!
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
You’ve probably noticed there’s a reoccurring theme of narcissism in this article, but there’s a special kind of self-absorbed RC idiot that thinks whatever segment they’re passionate about is bigger and/or more important or influential than it really is. These types usually manifest in two ways. One is the angry gnome that feels his beloved segment is ignored and not given the respect it deserves. Whether online or at the track, they’re the ones stomping their feet as they spout off about how–insert RC love of their life–is ignored by the RC media and community in general. The other type thinks everything should be judged by what they like. A vehicle will be released and they’ll claim it sucks because it wouldn’t do well at the track or spy a new rock crawler and say something like, “I’d like to see how that’d do at a comp.” What they fail to realize–because they think it’s all about them–is that not every vehicle is made for the racetrack or comps or even for any sort of competition at all.
If you’ve ever said the phrase “It’s just the Internet,” you’re an idiot. Most of us know that if you like to “stir the pot” only from the safety of an Internet connection, you’re an idiot–and a coward. Most forums quickly get rid of habitual trolls while others embrace them and give them badges so they can band together. Trolls love forums because forums give them a voice in a world that otherwise has no reason to listen to them. They know they are insignificant (in the grand scheme of things, aren’t we all?) and overcompensate by turning into wannabe Internet bullies. But, because they aren’t brave enough to act out face-to-face, you could argue they are worse than traditional bullies. Just as in real life, joking around (AKA busting your you-know whats) online can be fun and it can keep a forum from getting stale and boring, but if you’re a big enough boy to use a computer, you should be a big enough boy to know the difference between a joke and an intentional insult.
BA BA SHEEP
Ah, the close cousin to the Forum Troll, the Ba Ba Sheep wants to be accepted by that vocal minority of forum idiots because he thinks they’re bigger in number and influence than they really are, and because, well, he’s an idiot too. The sheep jump on the bandwagon whenever the opportunity arises. Many trolls are also sheep as they love to support their own. Sheep are, by definition, followers and don’t form their own opinions. Sometimes sheep are relatively harmless (but still annoying) such as when they’re the tenth guy to suggest the search button should have been used, but sometimes the sheep take a thread from bad to downright disaster. Not only does this drive people away from a forum, but it can lead to the eventual death of a forum.
TOO COOL TO CORNER
No one really likes to corner marshal. Well, some energetic kids floating around the track do, but most of us rather race either on the track or on the bench. Corner marshaling isn’t fun, but it must be done. Some idiots make a habit out of blowing off corner marshaling duties. The irony is they are the same idiots who usually blow a hissy fit if they have to wait to be flipped over. There are also the RC idiots who might as well blow off corner marshaling. I’m not talking about slow marshals. You can’t fault the big guys (just don’t crash near them). I’m talking about the guy who kicks a crashed truck over instead of going to such extreme lengths as leaning over a little and flipping the truck over with his hand.
Here’s the scenario: a company releases a single photo of a new vehicle and the online engineers instantly (and adamantly) start questioning rather specific aspects of its potential performance–all based on a single photo. “It’s going to be fragile.” “It won’t corner well.” “It won’t handle bumps.” What makes these comments absurd is that 99% of the time they involve qualities that aren’t revealed in said photo. It’s one thing to say a plastic motor mount may flex and won’t help cooling, but it’s another to say the 4-link geometry on a soon-to-be-released crawler doesn’t look right when the photo doesn’t even completely show the links.
The world is full of idiots…and great people too. I’m not sure what the ratio of idiots to great is, but they’re out there–both types. And, odds are all of us are guilty of being an idiot every once in awhile. The bottom line is that we each have to accountable for ourselves and strive to be RC ambassadors, not RC idiots. Don’t take yourself or this hobby too seriously and think beyond yourself. Now, go have some fun!