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Kristi Gee, Minneapolis, letter: Use your wit for more than potshots

To Forum columnist John Lamb: My sister sent me the WDAY video in an e-mail. "Tyler did what?" I cried. "I know," she goes, "I'll tell you the whole story after work."...

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To Forum columnist John Lamb: My sister sent me the WDAY video in an e-mail. "Tyler did what?" I cried. "I know," she goes, "I'll tell you the whole story after work."

I'm not a hippie. Liberal with a penchant for Noam Chomsky and public transit? Yes. But let's be real. I work for the biggest bureaucracy invented (the university system), and I love it. There's nothing better than knowing you've got five bosses above you, one job to do, all in the name of "creative services."

Still, the news spot was a disappointingly obvious example of media fear-mongering. "Keep your kids indoors," it warned, "or they'll end up in the grimy hands of hippie Nord."

All I'm saying is this: I thought your article was entertaining, but I think a piece about WDAY's absurd sensationalism would have better served the public.

To rake a kid - probably a mentally ill kid - through the coals for his MySpace worldviews and dreadlocked head is, perhaps, missing the peculiarities of the next shot in the video: a well-shaved father talking about keeping his kids on a shorter leash. Thanks, WDAY. We will now stay glued to our television sets, in case of unwashed deviants.

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Yeah, he screwed up. But why crucify him?

Is every powerful middle-aged white man a pervert after Eliot Spitzer and Scooter Libby?

Is every woman wearing a hijab oppressed?

Of course not. Stereotypes are easy to make, and easier to satirize.

They're giant targets, so wide one can close his (or her) eyes when he (or she) flings those metaphorical darts.

I'm far from perfect, but I do know something about the power of words, especially when those words are backed by a credible institution such as The Forum. You hold influence. It would be useful if you'd use your wit for more than potshots.

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