I was laid off from GameSpot back in January 2023. I do not know how to code, and I cannot fix your account.

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Get your vote on this year by picking your candidate

We live in a world where we no longer get to vote for someone we actually want in office. We vote for either the "lesser of two evils" or "against someone." This isn't how Democracy is supposed to work. Shouldn't we be voting for a candidate we want in office? Someone we agree with? Shouldn't we be siding with our candidate because of more than once issue?

This shouldn't be a two party system. There's more than two people two choose from this upcoming election. Sure, you can't change the world in a day, but you can sure as hell try.

Here's a list on everyone running for the office of President this election and their links to their websites. Check them out. Be informed. Or not... whatever.


The thread trend that drives me mad

I've been noticing a trend on here: Take a point leave a point.

I clicked on Gen Discussion, and saw this.
I clicked on Gen Discussion, and saw this.

I don't get the point. I always thought this site was a great place to discuss our love of comics, characters, and creators, but the idea of giving and leaving points is well... lame. The point is that I go into the forums, and this is all I see. I have to sift through people adding and subtracting in order to find the good stuff on here. What it really boils down to is that these are simply a "Who do you like/dislike" thread with no discussion or solid argument.

I also hate this blog I wrote.


Why Ya'll So Darn Angry?

The debate threads, to me, have become New York City, as represented in the film The Warriors, and no, we're not random members of the Warriors trying to get back to Coney Island. Users are just random members of the city, and there are a few debaters who consider themselves members of the Warriors. They think everyone is out to get them, and they will harass, fight, and do anything they can to prove they're right.

I understand the debate threads. A few years back, I was there, and I understand that things can get a little heated, but seriously, what's up with all the name calling? Why do we resort to that when either losing a debate or dealing with a troll? "Can't we all just get along?" Why can't we just walk away from it? I've been a member of CV for a while now (5 years, I think) and I've been a staffer for two years, and the main thing I LOVE about this site is that it's fun and run by a group of really cool staffers and mods who work to the bone for you guys.

The internet is supposed to be informational and fun, at least that's how I see it, so why can't we just have some fun? Who wants a free hug?


That Old Jock/Nerd Rivalry Resurfaces

It's getting a bit late, but I have a little story to tell. In the beginning of high school, I started out as a bit of a jock who really loved nerd-life. I wrestled and played baseball and basketball. I quit sporting to pursue women, music, and video games, while reading comic books on the side. I remember the old jock/nerd rivalry really well, and I got into quite a few scuffles because of it. 11 years later, I teach college freshmen English, and I write about comics for a living. I couldn't be more proud. However, my nonsensical hatred for jock-kind was refueled tonight. 
My girlfriend and I spent the day house hunting and whatnot, and during the evening, we decided to go out to eat. Halfway to the restaurant, she called me and told me her father, their exchange student, and a couple of his friends were going to be there. No big deal. I enjoy hanging out with the future father-in-law, and I don't mind a couple of the teenagers coming in. We sit down at our table at the restaurant, and one of the exchange student's friends I have never met before. He was, for all intensive purposes, a jock. It really didn't matter to me, since I truly think getting involved in school activities is a good thing. We all chatted and I noticed this kid complained about everything. "These wings suck" was the first thing that popped out of his mouth. "Then why are you eating them?" I thought to myself. He was loud and a bit cruel to our exchange student. I thought nothing of it. My girlfriend and I began talking about taking our niece and nephew to see the new Justin Bieber movie, since they love his music. I have no problem with it. I'm not a fan, but whatever makes my niece and nephew happy makes me happy. This jock kid starts spouting off some pretty homophobic slang, even though I'm pretty sure Bieber isn't gay. I chime in and say, "I may not like his music, but you know what? At the end of the day his decisions and actions have no effect on my or anyone's life, so who cares?" He stops talking... Then comes what almost drove me to get into it with him. I jokingly said I wanted to quit working at the comic book store, which I work at one day a week. As soon as the words "comic book store" came out of my mouth, this kid started chuckling in this "I'm better than you tone." In my mind I thought, "really dude? now that you know I like comics, you want to have a bit of a giggle about it?" I flashed back to every single time someone who thought they were better than me in high school picked on me for my interests. Whether it was comic books, my blue mohawk, my love for Star Wars, or even the music I listened to. It almost always ended up in a fight, and overall, it was never worth it. Here's why...
I went to my 10 year high school reunion this past summer. I was excited to what everyone was up to. I don't really hold grudges, and I truly was excited to see people I just didn't get along with, since we've all matured and become filled with more wisdom. I started noticing a trend. Those people that walked all over everyone in high school and bullied people drew the short end of the stick because they continued treating people like garbage after high school. And in the real world, if you treat people like garbage, life treats you like garbage. And I felt bad for those people. I truly did because they never really learned acceptable social skills. But there's that old saying "what goes around, comes around."
I know there's a lot of high school students on this site who dealt with the same bologna that I, or anyone older, dealt with in high school. The best thing to do is ignore it. High school is honestly the worst four years you'll have to endure, and although life becomes infinitely more complicated after high school, it's so much more fulfilling, exciting, and pleasurable.  I'll take struggling over bills and arguments with my girlfriend over a prep rally any day. Just be yourself, hang out with your friends, ignore the jerks the best you can, and get through high school. 
Ok, it's 2:30AM... I have to work at the comic book store tomorrow... Hope you guys enjoyed this. Goodnight friends!


Someone Puked During My Comedy Set

No Caption Provided
I had a stand-up show last night, and it was by far the most surreal show I've ever done. I planned on doing roughly 15 minutes of brand new material. I ended up doing 25 minutes, and 10 of it was looking on the ground in pure horror. The host, Charlie Stone, a good friend of mine, introduced me as thus, "Who here likes optimism? Then you'll hate our next comedian. Ladies and gentlemen, Mat Elfring." I was berated with one of the loudest cheers and applause I've ever received, and grabbed the mic only to demand more cheering and applause.
I did my first bit on Thanksgiving and how I thought my sister was loosing her mind, and I was about to do a bit on Black Friday. I was nervous about the bit because I wrote it an hour before I went on stage and as soon as I started the joke, I hear a drink spill behind me and the crowd collectively said "ewwww." I turned around to see a viscous liquid all over the ground, and someone yelled from the crowd, "someone puked on the wall."  I stood and stared at the puke for a minute, then goofed on the guy. I started trying to do my set again, but pukey's friend got a mop and was about to clean it up, but he started threatening people, then the manager came over and screamed at him. I watched this for 5 minutes in horror, making odd commentary about the situation to the crowd, and confused about what to actually do.
I sat down on the chair next to the mic and decided to start doing my set again, since 10 minutes had gone by. "Hey, what's the deal with airline food." I'm glad to say, that got more laughs than the guy puking. Two people walked into the seating area and I started yelling, "Guys! you missed it! My set was doing so well that this dude started puking from laughing so hard. It was (curse word!)ing awesome." Again, got some big laughs and the crowd was finally paying attention again. Probably one of the scariest sets I've done simply because within a span of 10 seconds, I went from the crowd focused entirely on me to focused on some idiot who was super drunk at 9:30pm on a Wednesday. Overall, the set ended up being pretty awesome and I got a lot of support from fellow comedians: "great set sir...and the way you handled the vomiting incident was the best!" It will forever be my most memorable set....

Comic Book Knowledge Pt 2

I can understand if you don't like or know a lot about comics, but I don't think that gives you an excuse to be oblivious to your surroundings. I've had moments working in the comic book store where I've been annoyed, confused, or just plain stumped, but yesterday, I had a moment I will NEVER forget. 
Yesterday was a normal workday. I was busy doing my normal Sunday workload, and at the same time, trying to help customers find what they need. A man walks in with his 5 kids, all of them no more than a year a part in age. The kids jet off to look at all the stuff, and I ask the man if he needs any help. He quickly says no, so I stand behind the counter and take a minute to check my fantasy football stats. The man walks up to the counter and says, "hi."
"What can I help you with?" I politely respond.
The man pulls out two ink cartridges for a computer printer and places them on the counter. I mentally prepare myself for a question about printing comics or the ink used in comic book inking.
"You see these? You know these?"
I nod.
"Can you fill these up?"
I'm pretty sure my face went blank at this point.
"Excuse me?" I utter.
"Can you refill my ink cartridges?"
"No. We're a comic book store." I explain.
 The man now looks confused with a dash of anger. "Why can't you refill these?"
"We sell comic books. Do you want to buy some comic books?" I respond.
He quickly puts the cartridges back into his pocket. "Where do I go then?"
I direct him to the Staples up the road about three miles, but he's still confused. I explain the directions two more times. "See the road right in front of the store? Take that south three miles, and it will be on your right hand side. You can't miss it. There's a Chili's right in front of it."
He calls his kids, who are running amuck in the store and leaves pretty pissed off.
I don't know what about our store says, "we refill printer ink cartridges." Maybe it's the giant sign above our door that says "COMICS." There is literally nothing that makes me think that. ( G-Man and I do a tour of my store video) If you can figure out how we were confused with Staples or Office Max, please let me know.


Comic Book Knowledge

"You know that super-hero with the knives on his hands?"
"No, not him..."
"X-23 or Daken?"
I pull up a picture of Wolverine and show it to the person in question.
"Yeah, that's him."
"That's Wolverine."
"Are you sure?"
I get questions like this daily in real life.