Debate vs. Negativity in RC

At RC Truck Stop, we write reviews, tech pieces, which include how-tos and projects, new product announcements and commentary articles. The last ones, the commentary articles, are basically opinion pieces or editorials. In my opinion (see what I did there?), any RC topic, as long as it’s interesting–as in relevant and important–and handled respectfully, is fair game. We try to leave names out of it when possible, not to protect the innocent or hide the guilty, but to respect that not everyone wants to be part of the conversation. Over the years, I’ve written a good number of commentary pieces. I plan to do more. I like writing them and I know people out there like them too because they get a lot of traffic and because of the volume of comments they receive on social media. More importantly, I write these articles because they are topics that I believe are worth discussing. I believe awareness is a good thing. Recently, some comments on an article on the topic of clone products took me aback. I expect different opinions to be shared and I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but a few–probably two, maybe three–accused me of promoting negativity. I wanted to explore this notion a bit.

First, I have no desire to promote negativity. I do, however, want to promote awareness. It’s arrogant and ignorant to think everyone knows what you know. I say this in response to the “don’t beat a dead horse” mentality. Now, we’ve probably all used that phrase, but just because you have once discussed a topic doesn’t mean every single other RC racer is up to speed (pardon the pun) or that they don’t have the right to discuss it as well, when and if they want to. I accuse myself lightheartedly of being on a high horse, but some of these people really need to get off theirs. You don’t get to declare a topic done–sorry.

Another cliche that got tossed out there was the claim that I just wanted to stir the pot. I have no interest in stirring the pot. What do I get out of that? If I don’t believe it’s relevant and important, I’m not writing about it. I don’t pick topics because they’re interesting. The topics are interesting because they’re relevant and important. I also don’t get why some people are so scared of topics being discussed. Stir the pot means to cause trouble for others. I can assure you my goal is not to cause trouble for others. Are these topics potentially controversial? Sure. But, the fact that they can be controversial means they should be discussed, not swept under the rug.

Lastly, there was the claim that was these articles and the alleged negativity they create are bad for the hobby. Sir, if RC is too controversial for you, I’m sorry, but life must just suck. There are a lot harder topics out there in real life than motor claim rules. The RC topics we cover actually create zero negativity. In contrast, people choose to be either negative or positive and I have zero control over that. Have you ever walked around the pits at an RC race? Guess what racers talk about. Racing! Topics just like the ones I cover. If they discuss one because they read about it on RC Truck Stop, that’s great. Awareness was raised. Whether they are negative or positive is out of my hands. The negative people will be negative and the positive people will be positive.

I’m going to list some of the commentary articles below, but if you’re new, an example of a topic I might discuss is something like sponsored drivers racing in stock and spec classes. I haven’t covered this yet (that I can remember off the top of my head) and the topic has certainly been discussed by people before. According to some people’s logic, since someone somewhere has discussed sponsored drivers in stock and spec classes before, mentioning it again is beating a dead horse and is thus off limits. But, this is still an issue at numerous club races and big events. It’s relevant because it is still going on and it’s important because it impacts hobby participation. It’s worth discussing. If you think it’s beating a dead horse, what I hear is you’ve stated your opinion and aren’t open to hearing anyone else’s. But, talking about it will still the pot. What pot? Your pot? Who cares? Is it really better to stick your head in the sand and have participation bleed off? And again, is it really that bad to have topics come up and be discussed? As I already said, it’s happening in the pits right now anyway. While a bunch of others have fun, someone is discussing the rules, someone is griping about the classes and someone else is complaining about track conditions. And, that’s not even mentioning all the grumbling about who got hacked and who’s cheating. Sorry to ruin your fantasyland, Cinderella, but all of that and more is being discussed in the pits at every race. But, but, but the negativity. Go change your diaper. You’re being a baby. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t control people. Negative people will be negative with or without these topics. Toxic people will show up at the track, Facebook group or online forum no matter what I do or don’t do. That doesn’t mean these topics aren’t worth discussing and that the rest of us aren’t entitled to share our opinions. Here’s the kicker, it’s far better to have the topic come up on RC Truck Stop and get discussed online than ignore it and have it fester behind the scenes.

The bottomline is you don’t have to agree with me on any the topics I write about, but don’t try to impact what I write about by making ridiculous and downright childish claims about me bringing negativity to the hobby. I can say with complete confidence do what I can to help grow this hobby and make it better.

If you’re ready and can handle the heat, below are some of the more popular commentary articles:

Claim Rules (Surprise hot button topic)

Ethics and RC — Clones, Bootlegs and Ripoffs

Pro-Prepped Motors in Spec Racing

Nice T-shirt! Did You Buy It Online?

Clone Wars — RC Style

RC and the Internet (I should have read this one before writing this article)

What Kind of RC Idiot Are You?

What I Love About RC Racing (How ironic. A rank against negativity. See? I can be positive)


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