If the Wall Street Journal Is So Smart, How Come They Agree With Me?

Me:

Second, housing starts are at a nine month high! Great, just when a huge amount of housing stock is about to be dumped on the market, aka, more foreclosures.

Them:

Recovery Obstacle: So Many Houses

They have to get better reporters over there.

You read it here first: Media, Pentagon getting their ideas from me & CD jr.

From The NY Daily News: CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT – IN BAGHDAD?

Where did they come up with this one? The Multi-National Corps-Iraq press desk sent out a release today about a new operation targeting insurgents in Baghdad, which succeeded killing two insurgents and locating a cache of “artillery rounds, mortars, cell phones, weapons, propaganda, ammunition magazines and other bomb-making materials.” The clever name of this mission? Operation Bull Run.

From CD in February 2006: The Iraq Civil War, or Operation Bull Run

Last Sunday, Secretary of State Rice made the TV rounds and dismissed an “impending” civil war. And, technically, she’s right: It’s not impending if it’s already here. Her comments sound like Gen. Westmoreland’s December 1967 dismissal of the North Vietnamese’s ability to launch an offensive anywhere in South Vietnam. The following month the North launched the Tet offensive everywhere in South Vietnam.

Two points for the Pentagon to keep in mind:

  1. It was a JOKE.
  2. There have been two previous battles of Bull Run. We lost ’em both.

Y’know, Tom Lehrer once said that irony died when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. Oh Tom, if only you’d been right.

(Mad props to Flagrancy To Reason for finding this.)

From Wired: How to Take Money From Kids: Sell Toys Both Physical and Virtual

Webkinz kick-started a trend in children’s gaming that ties virtual environments to real-world merchandise. Online games for kids aren’t new. Sierra Online had tot-focused games in the early ’90s, and Neopets proved a hot product six years ago with a similar concept. But the unprecedented success of Webkinz is inspiring everyone from Barbie to Disney to get children invested in both the digital and the physical.

From TheWhatchamacallit: Neopets a neoscam?

The NC Mall was the final blow though. Needing to use real money, to buy virtual items on a kids site? It should not be! I am going to write a twelve paragraph letter to neopets on this subject, after seeing how few people actually realize neopets is being taken over!

From Reuters: Program Reveals Where Wikipedia Entrees Come From

A new tracing program that reveals where Wikipedia entries come from is stirring up controversy. People using FBI and CIA computers edited entries on such topics as the “Iraq war” and the prison at “Guantanamo Bay,” presenting a conflict of interest for the nonprofit online encyclopedia, according to a company spokesperson.

From today’s New York Times: Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits

Collateral Damage: See here & here.

Collateral Damage: Today’s sarcasm is tomorrow’s news.

I met Mike Rowe and you didn’t … Nyah nyah.

So I was at the ANA’s annual conference last week which is why no posts in a while. This year’s was held in Orlando which made Mrs. Collateral Damage and CD jr. very happy as they piggy backed on to go visit the local Mouse emporium. Sure, I got to interview the CEO and CMO of Procter & Gamble and the CMO of Charles Schwab and the marketing boss for Clorox but more importantly I SHOOK HANDS WITH MIKE ROWE. Mr. R, host of the incredibly great and gross TV show “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery, emcee’d the Marketer of The Year Awards for Brandweek. His timing was dead on and he was funny as ever, except when he had to do a couple of scripted bits, but that wasn’t his fault. It was more than a wee bit odd to have this chronicler of the down-and-very-dirty and real speaking infront of a group of people who who would really like it if their work was mistaken for authentic … but hey that’s what irony is all about isn’t it?

OuchFor those of you who care, here is a picture of me at registration for the ANA. All journalists had a barcode tattooed on to them. For what it’s worth the UPC for journalists does start with a 666.

Welcome home, as it were

Welcome to the new home for Collateral Damage, that irritating blog that used to be at CMO magazine, until CMO bit the dust. For those of you new to my little menagerie of stories — this is where I, yet another opinionated blow-hard, go on at length about business and marketing and vainly attempt to be funny.

About me: I’m Constantine von Hoffman, a senior writer for BrandWeek magazine and standup comedian.

Here is what in journalism parlance is called the “nut graph” about me. A veteran journalist with more than 20 years professional experience, I am one of the few people to have worked for both the devil (AKA Rupert Murdoch when I was city editor at the Boston Herald) and The Deep Blue Sea (associate producer for National Public Radio’s environmental news show Living on Earth).I have covered everything from fires to sewer committee meetings to science to the arts and A LOT of business stories. Prior to BrandWeek, I was senior writer for CMO magazine and before that I was a freelance writer. My work has appeared in a whole bunch of magazines, including the Harvard Business Review, Sierra, Boston Magazine and CIO.