Mr. Shred. Sounds like a guy from an 80s VHS tape about how to play guitar. Learn how to shred from Mr. Shred, only $19.95 plus shipping! If you knew what Mr. Shred was a not that guy and instead is demon you’d probably think that Mr. Shred is a demon of violence. The kind of demon that’s supposed to encourage people to throw each other into woodchippers and inspiring the type of stuff that happened in the Mangler.
You’d be wrong about that, wrong and naive.
People who know about demons could tell you that Mr. Shred is a demon of destruction. Document destruction specifically. They’d probably tell you two other things while they were telling you that, that Mr. Shred is one of the new age demons like Brtliiy the demon of dead batteries or Jykyl the demon of slow internet connections and that he’s (demons have no gender but you know, Mister, so) a minor demon at best, amongst the ranks of such low level sin-tempters as Quilkiks the Mouse-Poker and Toprvious the Lord of Farting A Little in Elevators.
Wrong, wrong again idiots.
Demonologists, who seem like they should be cool but are a largely a bunch of hoary stodgy bores (thanks in part to Bebibickybybeau the demon of making demonologist boring and old) would tell you that Mr. Shred has been around a long time and was once known as The Tablet-Smasher. They’d tell you that as soon as the Sumerians started scratching their thoughts into clay Mr. Shred/Tablet-Smasher popped into existence and was all like “Okay, now this is something I can get into”.
They’d tell you how insidious and evil this makes Mr. Shred, well within the ranks of mid-range demons like Gantgony the demon of showing up way too early for a party or Persibish the demon of pissing in the coffee pot, because of all their information Mr. Shred has destroyed throughout human history. They might even talk about the Burning of the Librarian of Alexandria, even though it may not have actually existed to be burned down.
They’re wrong too though even though knowing about demons is their WHOLE job.
Mr. Shred (he had a different name at the time) had already been around for sixty thousand years before the Sumerians even existed morons.
Mr. Shred was born (or whatever you want to call it when a demon becomes a thing) when our primitive screwhead ancestors first started painting stuff on walls. Was it religion? Was it art? Yes and yes, but most importantly it was documentation. Information that Mr. Shred could wreck. Not long after the first rock was painted on by someone Mr. Shred was there whispering to someone else “Hey, you see those lines on that rock? How about you gather up some buffalo shit and hurl it on those lines? You know, destroying all that work. Wouldn’t that be fun? Did you see how hard that person worked on those lines? Wouldn’t the look on their face when you hurl feces on it be funny?”
It wasn’t a great gambit but Mr. Shred was only a few seconds old at the time. He got better at his job over time. Now to be clear Mr. Shred is an information-killer, he’s not an art destroyer, he doesn’t care about purely artistic expressions, that’s the job of another demon. A painting of Sir Francis Drake wearing the wrong helmet? Not his pig, not his farm. There’s a whole bunch of other guys on that stuff. Now on the other hand, if the painting is some kind of DaVinci code bullcrap with a map to the holy grail or whatever the fuck that book was about hidden in the art then Mr. Shred is in. Admittedly it’s a gray area sometimes.
And to be clear some more Mr. Shred isn’t one of the many demons of lies or misunderstanding, destroying information people share via interpersonal communication, nor is he one of the memory thieves, destroying the information that we store in our brains. It’s not quite right to say that the written word is his domain because there’s more than that these days, but you get it. Ruining paintings, smashing tablets, tearing up scrolls, burning books, nibbling on the corners of the Constitution, spilling juice on term papers, mail chucked in the sewer instead of delivered, dogs eating homework, bent floppy disks, corrupted hard drives, Mr. Shred has done it all.
Now even though Mr. Shred isn’t a new age demon it’s easy to see why people might think that he is. The fact is that he was a pretty minor figure who got a little bump in the 1400s and really leveled up when industrial printing came around 400 years later. That’s when Mr. Shred came into his own. The explosion of books, pamphlets, and broadsides, along with people learning how to read them meant that Mr. Shred suddenly had a lot more work to do. Suddenly he was rubbing evil elbows with all the right people, including Calculobous the demon of thinking that you’re rubbing elbows with all the right people but really you aren’t.
The rise of corporations and the law enforcement bodies that try to stop them from doing evil corporate shit all the time have made Mr. Shred a busy immortal spirit. The sheer volume of information corporations create, and then have to destroy when Mr. Shred whispers in the ear of some SEC forensic analysts is hard to even fathom.
Two things to know about Mr. Shred. One is that for a demon he’s a real forward thinker. Demons, like many mostly immortal beings in the universe are pretty conservative by and large. I mean that coffee pot pissing guy hasn’t had a new idea in ever. Most demons don’t like to mix up their funk, they stick with that they know and what has worked for them in the past. Mr. Shred isn’t like most demons. He’s always looking forward to the next big leap in data documentation and how he can wreck it. Case in point he won’t be called Mr. Shred for much longer, although he hasn’t decided what he wants to be called. Cloud Killer maybe. Mr. Shred goes where the action is. He doesn’t rest on his laurels.
The other thing to know about Mr. Shred is that he hates information. Hates it. Demons are a lot like people you see. Some of them are just doing their job. They don’t really care about the sins they’re encouraging they just want to get paid. And some of them are in it for the sin itself. Xxxxumxxxu the king of famine for instance doesn’t want to be TOO good at his job because if there’s no food and everyone dies then there’s no more famines to faminize for him and that’s what he likes to do. Famine.
Mr. Shred though, he hates information. Hates it like the screeching of a thousand informercials at full volume blasting in your face. Mr. Shred isn’t going through the motions, he genuinely, honestly, truly, wants it all destroyed. Putting himself out of a job would be the happiest day of his life. No more books, no more blogs, no more texts, no more e-mails, no more notes passed in class, no more nothing. The thought of one scrap of information anywhere that anyone might find and read, he can’t abide the notion.
You want to talk? Go fucking nuts, Mr. Shred doesn’t care. You want to remember that conversation? Great, good for you, say Mr. Shred. But if you want to memorialize it in some physical or digital way? Well now you have a problem.
Now for some Trivia. Mr. Shred is close friends with Greblishnen the demon of ineffectual armor by means of impracticality rather than defect, who as you might imagine doesn’t have a lot going on these days since armor times are mostly over. One of Greblishnen’s last “big” projects was inspiring the design of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s nemesis Shredder. It’s like a friend joke between them you know?