About Me

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Maine&NY, United States
Ronna Lambiasi DeLoe is an author, writer, photographer, professional musician and NY attorney living in Maine and New York. She has an office in NY and is still actively doing appeals. She also play keys, synth & organ in a 7-piece band. Ms. DeLoe's poetry website provides custom poems or personalized poetry for every occasion. The new site is at: https://www.facebook.com/PoetandWriter/?fref=ts. Her photography website is: www.mainestreamphotography.com (live but under construction). Ms. DeLoe's first book of poetry is Serenity at Two Lights and Other Social Issues. It can be found on www.Amazon.com. Her children's book, Goodbye Monsters, can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Monsters-Ronna-Lambiasi-DeLoe/dp/1633810011/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436384727&sr=8-1&keywords=ronna+lambiasi+deloe. Contact her at ronnadeloe@gmail.com and view her webpage at www.ronnalambiasideloe.com.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


This post is being written in the aftermath of yet another mass murder in Colorado -- the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. For all intents and purposes, this could have been in your state, or your country, or your town.

As writers, we have a forum. People can either choose to read what we write or choose to not to, but we have a platform. We need to use that platform responsibly. Instead of writing about how wonderful life is -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but vary the topic occasionally -- write about what is wrong with the world and how we need to fix it.

I wrote a short story recently, which is not my usual form of writing. I usually write poetry or articles about anything and everything. I also write about legal topics and write legal briefs. In any event, the short story criticized the health care industry. It was tough, and it was meant to be. It was part of a contest, which I almost never enter, about America. I noticed that approximately 95% of the entrants wrote about the wonderful country we have, and I agree with that point of view. However, we were also allowed to write about the negative side, and only a handful of us did that. The winning entry was upbeat and painted a surreal portrait of an everyday Joe American helping to build a mosque. Not going to happen, even though it's nice to believe it might. I garnered a lot of compliments about my health care story and I was just happy that people were paying attention. Some of the compliments included words that said "bravo" for using this platform to inform people of a social "ill" -- yes, the health care industry is sick and it needs to be fixed and healed.

If we, as writers, do not seize upon the opportunity to write about social ills and problems, we are missing a huge chance to do something good and useful with our writing. It's great if you make people happy with your writing. It's another thing altogether if you get your readers to think. Let them think; let them be angry and let them sort things out. Let them even have a call to action to do something about your topic.

In that vein, let's use our writing to discuss the problem of violence in this society and instead of writing about violence for the sake of glorification, let's write about how it affects us as a nation or as a global community.

Mass media is also guilty, on a much larger scale, of ignoring real social ills. Instead of make movies about social issues such as health care or violence or poverty, movie makers are making movies that they believe people want to see, which is a problem in and of itself. More Batman movies mean more $$$. It also depicts violence for the sake of violence.

I am not blaming a movie for the tragic and senseless deaths of people in Colorado. What I'm saying is that instead of making Batman 49, why not make a movie that will appeal to the public as a good story, in a realistic setting, about the average American family who is doing everything they can to cope during hard economic times? Let's cater to a higher intelligence, not like what television is doing -- they're catering to C and D students and loving it all the way to the bank. But that has diminished the quality of programs on TV. You can have 500 channels and find nothing to watch because it's all garbage.

All media -- wake up! It's time to be responsible. If you want to have people who are in dire need of psychiatric care copy your villain, be careful! That goes for mystery writers too. Too many times a mystery is made gorier and gorier just for sales and glorification. People are reading your mystery or thriller. A good mystery doesn't have to mean "the gorier the better," nor does a good movie. Many good mystery writers use their mysteries as platforms for other subjects, such as violence, man's inhumanity to man, politics, etc.

Let's be responsible as writers and not waste the opportunities we are afforded to get our message out there. I love my poetry about nature, but my poetry about human suffering or the human condition has a much bigger impact on my audiences. It gets them thinking and maybe it may hit someone with the idea of acting upon what they've heard -- that is, acutally doing something about social issues.

Let's not lose our fifteen or more minutes of fame. Instead, let's send out tough, responsible messages, in an entertaining way --which can, of course, be done -- and let's make sure our writing actually means something. Fluff is nice. So is writing and making movies about nature, teen culture, etc. I'm also a photographer so trust me when I say I have nothing against nature. I'm a nature and landscape photographer. But my photos are one thing. My writing has, I believe, a higher purpose, and I'm going to see to it that I deliver.

I was asked recently to write about the topic of food. I wrote three poems on the subject. While one of them was funny, one was whimsical, the first poem I wrote was about the exorbitant amount of food found at a party or function and how it all goes to waste. I hoped, in the poem, that the excess food, which was a ridiculous amount, went to a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. I complained about the gluttons who subsisted on such lavish affairs regularly and about those who provided such an abundance of food.

We need to take responsibility as writers, and the "keepers of all media" need to do the same. Enough is enough. Write about gun control. Make movies about gun control. Talk about random acts of violence. Write about it. Make movies about it without glorifying it.

As I told my brother, a psychologist, we need more psychologists, counselors and psychiatrists than we need white collar Wall Street-types. There are too many undiagnosed or unmedicated mentally ill people with whom we have to share this planet. Not a comforting thought. Okay. Now write about it; make a movie about it.

Amen. My prayers go to the fatally injured, the injured, and the families of these people. I will do my part to "keep it Green" as they say in AA -- let us never forget and let's take the next step and let's tell society all about it and what we can do to stop it.

Thanks for reading. Write on,



  1. First thing: I am glad you are not blaming the movie for the cause of the shooting. Too many times this has happened in tragedies, and it sickens me. Remember what happened with Columbine? Marilyn Manson, Video Games, Violent Music, everything got the blame except for the kids themselves. As for why people are making said movies, blissful ignorance seems to be the state of mind of the masses. People would rather hear about awesome superhero fighting bad guys rather than tragic sad person dying from an incurable disease. And I agree, writers and the media should try to send out messages about what's really important rather than this stupid nonsense about Kim Karda..whatever the heck her name is. But people seem to have the need to be entertained rather than horrified. Consider it like this. Say there's a shiny object in the street that will affect nothing but bring you maybe a second of happiness, but right next to it there's a bloody hand that if cleaned up immediately, might bring you prolonged happiness. What do you think people will go to first? That's my 2 cents on that

  2. Thanks for your comment Mara. I'm not blaming the movie for causing someone to be psychotic. He already was. I'm pointing out that writers and media (movies, tv, news -- not entertainment "news" which is not news) need to be more responsible. Thanks! You get it!

  3. Ronna, you are so right. When is the population of this country going to get their collective heads out of their asses?! Instead of worrying about abortion (legalized by the same Supreme Court that upheld the right to bear arms), we need to worry about stopping the sale of assault weapons and ensuring that all Americans can afford health care. While I do not advocate the banning of guns, I think we need to make sane decisions about the type of guns being legally sold. I believe that the gun lobby is wrong. I am willing to be that, like this recent shooting in Colorado, most gun related killings are perpetrated by people who have purchased their guns legally.

  4. Thanks for your comment. I'm in favor of telling it like it is, and mass media has the responsiblity to do that. We have the same responsibility as writers; if we don't use that responsibility, we're missing an important opportunity to start a dialogue and have people act upon it. Thanks again.

  5. Some in the media get it, at least they understand not to directly glorify psychopaths and delusional perpetrators of heinous crimes, but it must be a painful dance for them because ratings matter. There are some topically critical shows, it isn't all fluff, but it is heavily weighted (i.e., proportionally) toward entertainment, in large part, because that is exactly what people want to view. Most people in America have cable television. The Learning Channel, the History channel, C-Span and other similar offerings have their loyal audiences and associated Nielsen ratings, but the viewers largely determine what is presented by voting with remote controls. I urge you to continue presenting your messages because we really do need to stop and think, but only some of the people will listen to or read thought-provoking material some of the time. Michael Moore and others can only infrequently produce a topically critical and thought-provoking movie with hope of attracting a large percentage of the potential viewing public. If demand existed, the market would fill it. People want to be entertained. Yes, we ought to think a lot more about many things, but except for a small number of fortuitously attracted readers, your message is probably being read primarily by your church choir. I would bet more people could identify Brad Pitt and Kim Kardashian (one celebrity for each gender) than they could identify the U.S. Vice President. I applaud your encouraging other writers, but beware the potential of an incestuous feedback loop that loses touch with the masses. Please continue to tell it like it is. In addition, perhaps you need to occasionally seduce the masses, who would implicitly hear your message, by giving them what they want and then embedding tidbits of the msssage that needs to be delivered.

    1. Thanks for your well-presented comment and suggestions. I'll take them to heart. Hopefully this will be read by more than my band as there are only seven of us, but I have been getting a lot of hits for this column so that's a good start. Thanks for getting it and for your support. It's a shame we have to "seduce the masses" to get to the real message, but I have to agree that it's probably necessary.

  6. Maybe mass murders never will stop. Part of it may be we have too many guns, part of it may be too many people who should not own guns because of psychological problems, can get those guns too readily. I enjoy writing and I have spoken out on guns but that may not be the crux of the problem. I enjoyed your article.

    1. Thank you Bill, and I'm sorry I have not responded sooner. This is current though, unfortunately, in the wake of Newtown's shootings. Maybe we need to alert the media, especially movies, to do something new. There are articles out about alleged conspiracy theories in Newtown, and the role that the Batman movie may have played there. That remains to be seen, but maybe we have to get the media to act more responsibly. Case in point -- the Jack Reacher movie is now out. I had an opportunity to view it with my husband but declined. I love mysteries and suspense, but when I heard there was a scene with a mass-killing, I said no way. I don't want to encourage that. In fact, I am writing a mystery and I think to write responsibly, we have to stop glorifying so many murders. You can have a mystery with one or a few murders; there doesn't have to be a serial killer or a mass murderer in every plot.
      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.