TALK IT UP TUESDAY: ShredRC
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2017 07:04pm
By Aaron Waldron
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
Three years ago, a satirical social media presence poking fun at the RC racing community called ShredRC shocked the industry - no manufacturer, driver or racing event has been off limits. While many of the jokes are witty observations, some have prompted widespread ASNR (acute spontaneous nasal reflux) attacks requiring the cleaning of computer screens and smart devices around the world. Three years later, it’s still perhaps the best-kept secret in the industry, as no one seems to know who’s in control of the Facebook and Twitter accounts. The mysterious mastermind granted me an interview for this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday…but still gave no clues as to his (or her, or their) true identity.
Aaron Waldron: So, Shred - who the hell are you anyway?
ShredRC: Nobody important.
AW: What gave you the idea to start ShredRC?
SR: Well, a couple of us were sitting around just talking about how the RC industry was in need of something like The Onion for RC. People take themselves so seriously and I think forget that we are all playing with toys cars and racing each other for bragging rights. Most people in RC get involved for the fun of it and the longer you are in RC the less fun it gets and the more competitive people seem to be. Nothing in Shred is meant to be personal, but sometimes it is a good idea to keep things in perspective and laugh a little. Some of the stuff I post just needs to be said whether you agree or not!
AW: Did you have a goal in mind when you first started your Twitter account?
SR: Mostly, I wanted to keep it short and sweet with each post…it pushes me to be more creative with the text because of the limitation of 140 characters. The goal was to bring light to all of the shortcomings in the RC industry since there are so many!
AW: How has the general tone of ShredRC been received by the industry?
SR: For the most part it has been very positive. Most people understand satire, but of course there are always haters and people that get upset if you make fun of anything they like or a person they admire.
AW: You started out with a bang in February 2014 and posted a lot very quickly. Has it been difficult to keep coming up with new stuff to say?
SR: Honestly, I had no idea the feed would really get any traction in the industry. I had so much to say at first that I was just brain dumping on so many topics. In hindsight, I probably should have paced myself because it is hard to find content for multiple posts in one day. I do my best but not every day can I find something funny to say. The big events seem to bring in more content and when racers move to different companies it sure gives me lots of new ideas. It has been cool watching the audience expand over time and I am surprised to see that the page on Facebook has over 3,350 likes.
AW: Are you still having as much fun with ShredRC as you did when starting out three years ago?
SR: Yes. I think it is great to look from both the outside and the inside of RC and provide some commentary. Although, it is funny that things that I find funny people do not always agree with and I can definitely see the trends in the posts from a support perspective. Political posts seem to touch a nerve with people...so you will see more of those in the future. So sensitive!
AW: How often do you get people submitting jokes? Do you ever use any of them?
SR: People send me stuff all of the time and I get a kick out of what they send me. I actually use a lot of the ideas I get but usually tweak them to fit the Shred style. There are a couple of people that I will consult with for ideas and I will tell you that some people send me some pretty crazy ideas and some of them are so outrageous that they are hard to post. But I do enjoy reading them so keep the ideas coming!
AW: What do you think of the many copycat social media accounts that have attempted to imitate what you do?
SR: I am fine with it. I don’t own the rights to satirical assaults on the RC industry.
AW: How on Earth have you managed to keep your true identity a secret?
SR: I was careful when I got started, and try to keep myself organized when I post. Honestly, it was not my intention of it being such a secret - but I think the anonymity helps keep it going. I know everyone wants to know and I am sure over time the truth will come out but until then I am going to keep posting and having fun with it. I think, by now, most people don’t really care but the suspicion keeps it interesting. Besides, no one company or one person is off limits to ShredRC and that is made easier by not having a public identity.
AW: Do you have any favorite subjects to poke fun at?
SR: No, not really. I mean anything can be funny if you look at it from the right perspective.
AW: Why do you think the RC industry tends to take itself so seriously?
SR: The hobby attracts a lot of type-A personalities and everyone in RC thinks they are a pro-level driver. Just ask them!
AW: What is your favorite shred?
SR: I think one of the early Shreds about Maifield and his starter kit made me physically LOL for a while. I really had fun writing that one. Even when I go back and reread it a still have quite a chuckle.
AW: What is the best feedback you have received about Shred?
SR: Honestly, I read every comment on every post. So, I see what people are saying and I get lots of FB messages from the loyal followers, but I think the best thing I read was from Barry Baker after I had posted something about him. He said something like, “You know you made it when ShredRC post something about you...hahaha.” That’s great!
AW: What do you hope people take away from ShredRC?
SR: The biggest thing is that I hope they laugh. It is meant to be fun and a good outlet from the seriousness of RC. I think it is great to challenge the normal ways of thinking in RC and provide a different perspective on each of the topics. In the end, ShredRC is meant to entertain and I hope we can do that every day with every post.