You Are Not a Basher
While driving the six trucks in this issue’s stadium truck shootout, one refrain I kept hearing was how each truck met the needs of racers versus “bashers.” It occurred to me that there’s no label for people who bowl but don’t play in a league, enjoy running but don’t enter the Olympics, or eat hot dogs but don’t cram as many into their face as possible within 30 minutes. But when it comes to radio control, if you’re not a racer, you’re a basher. Which got me thinking.
We need a better word than “basher.” A basher is the guy who comes at you with a bat because you’re selling booze on Nucky Thompson’s turf. A basher is the guy writes a scathing online screed against Brand X because he didn’t like their customer service. But you, dear reader, are not a basher. ”Basher” might make sense if we were driving our cars into walls on purpose or having demolition derbies, but we’re not. If you are, feel free to call yourself a basher. As for me, I prefer “sport driver” or “RC enthusiast” or nothing at all. There’s no special name for the millions of us who drive an automobile every day but don’t race. We don’t have to explain to the guy at the Toyota dealership that we don’t plan on autocrossing. But in RC, even though the vast majority of cars sold aren’t race cars and their owners don’t participate in organized racing, we have a special, insulting label for those who don’t race: bashers. Blech.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Racing is a lot of fun. I encourage you to try it. Likewise, I encourage all racers to be encouraging to those who decide to try it. Welcome them. But not-racing does not make anyone a less than skilled driver or RC mechanic or knowledgeable RC guy (or gal), and non-racers don’t need a name, nor are they a category. They’re the mainstream, and racing is the exception—and just as it is in the world of full-size motoring, it’s a glorious exception that fosters innovation and makes better cars and trucks for those of us who don’t race. But are we “bashers?” Hardly.