THE MAKING OF A VETERAN: A Review Of “LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE”

“If we don’t need the gory details to tell a story about gore, then maybe we don’t need to accept war as inevitable.” ~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

“LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE” A war story-movie about the sacrifices a family makes in real time on the ground, when one is called or decides to serve their country. Based on a novel by Mindy Mejia, the film explores such sacrifice and how it impacts initially and alters forever the family dynamic.

A slow-mover that mesmerizes the viewer, forcing one to sit still the mind as it opens wide the harsh reality of physical and psychological isolation.

Mindy Mejia uses nuance to tell a story of how war leaves an indelible influence on the making of each veteran and how through each person’s uniqueness, that indelible influence unfolds differently.

Trying to heal what can’t be told, the family stumbles, succumbs and rises to a different understatement of who they are, and how to survive the changes that war brought upon them.

Rather than being left with images, facts, and figures from the theatre of the aftermath of war, the viewer takes with them a part of the collective soul of all veterans – the only part common to all – that they will ever allow you to see. Everything else is uniquely private to each individual veteran-family.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my Veteran-family members!

I am a family-veteran. I became one when I was born into a family who served and became one again each time another family member put on that uniform.

I know what isolation looks and feels like. Over time that place brought me comfort knowing I was surviving something somebody else experienced, which I had no control over.

I believe war is NOT inevitable. Absent war and absent the intentional infliction of harm is a world I aspire to help engineer. Using my own free will and self-control opens the doors that need opening and closes those that need closing.

This is a story about accepting where we are now and working from there to achieve tomorrow.

I know that story.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight


ART INTERPRETATION

‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.’

Interpretation of art operates in the same way.

“It’s not for the artist to interpret the art for those who view it.

When the artist guides the interpretation for the viewer, it corrupts the art.”

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

A LESSON IN OPPRESSION

“When one work of art is interpreted in the same way by everyone who views it, it’s a lesson in oppression.”

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight






 

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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION REFORM

Affirmative Action known as positive discrimination in Britain, employment equity in Canada and equal opportunity employment in the USA is fundamentally flawed, because it’s based on prejudice.

One could argue that because blacks were discriminated against in the job market, that an equally prejudicial law was required to open the job market to those persons experiencing said discrimination.

The better solution would have been proper education and training in the fields where blacks were discriminated against, rather than accepting into those fields blacks who lacked  the proper skills and qualifications to perform those jobs.

Be that as it may, decades have passed, educational opportunities and acceptance into those jobs have risen sufficiently to a level, whereby the continuation of Affirmative Action would only serve to excuse those now covered under the law from obtaining proper skills and qualifications necessary to effectively perform those jobs.

The current Affirmative Action rule by its nature discriminated against persons more qualified and skilled to fill those positions. Many whites in a  lower socio-economic situation who had higher test scores than black applicants were passed over for those positions simply because they were white. In effect, Affirmative Action pitted black and white poor people against each other.

However,  it was also prejudicial in that if two applicants, one black and one white, were equally qualified the job went to the black individual.

Federal and state governments were the main employers of blacks under the Affirmative Action rule, evidenced by the long-standing disproportionate ratio of blacks vs whites in those government jobs. The USA post office was a primary offender of discrimination against white applicants.

Affirmative Action based on race, specifically skin color, needs to be eliminated. Had the rule from the outset been applied to all people in the lower socio-economic situation it would have been less prejudicial, since rich people don’t customarily apply for the same positions that poorer people apply for, thereby the rich people wouldn’t feel discriminated against.

There is only one application of the Affirmative Action rule in present day that is both necessary, and non-prejudicial regarding skill and qualifications. That one application should be veterans–those whom have already shown to have passed qualification testing by the very nature that they served in the military, have already achieved the level of discipline, ability to follow orders and learn new assignments that any job once out of the military requires.

There is no reason why federal and state governments cannot apply the Affirmative Action rule to these discriminated against veterans based on veteran status, as they did the previously discriminated against blacks based on their skin color.

Given that the unemployment numbers of veterans remain high even with monetary employer incentives to hire veterans, Affirmative Action for veterans becomes a necessary and vital solution to keep our veterans employed with dignity after they leave military service.

Since veterans have an employment history, by nature of their military training and service, it makes perfect sense that the government they worked for in that capacity provide as an option continued employment by said government in a civilian role, based on job discrimination against veterans in the private sector.

People of all races will be included within the category of veteran, as long as they are a veteran, but rather than give preferential consideration based solely on skin color, consideration will be based solely on said veteran status.

It is further recommended that anti-discrimination laws based on color, sex, national origin and religion include veteran status in that statute. “A person cannot be discriminated against based on veteran status.”

Update 1.1.13: Congratulations to Walmart, largest employer in the USA, for offering any United States veteran a job during the first year after leaving military service!