Definition of ideal
(Entry 1 of 2)
1a: of, relating to, or embodying an ideal: ideal beauty
b: conforming exactly to an ideal, law, or standard : PERFECT an ideal gas— compare REAL sense 1c(4)
2a: existing as a mental image or in fancy or imagination only broadly: lacking practicality
b: relating to or constituting mental images, ideas, or conceptions
3: of or relating to philosophical idealism
4: existing as an archetypal idea
Definition of ideal (Entry 2 of 2)
1: a standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence
2: one regarded as exemplifying an ideal and often taken as a model for imitation
3: an ultimate object or aim of endeavor : GOAL
4: a subset of a mathematical ring that is closed under addition and subtraction and contains the products of any given element of the subset with each element of the ring
I did a two-part poll the other day as I wanted to see what people would be willing to die for. Check out the screen shot above. Twitter would only let me have four options total, and so I had to combine a couple of the items into one item each.
What got me to thinking and ultimately doing this first part of the poll was a scene from Full Metal Jacket.
In the scene, a couple of soldiers had been killed in combat. The main characters of the story, Joker, Rafter Man, Doc J, Animal Mother, and a couple of others were standing around the corpses, paying their last respects.
Rafter Man: “Well at least they died for a good cause.”
Animal Mother: “What cause was that?”
Rafter Man: “Freedom?”
Animal Mother: “Flush out your head gear new guy, you think we waste gooks for freedom? This is a slaughter. If I’m going to get my balls blown off for a word, my word is poontang.”
When I did this poll, everything except “poontang” is an ideal. Social Justice is an ideal. We can’t hold it in our hands, we can’t touch it. We are going to disagree about what it is and what it means. The same can be said about Duty and Honor, and God and Country. None of those things mean the same to everyone. You can’t touch or hold any of them, you can’t take them home with you, except in your head.
A lot of people replied to my first part of the poll asking why “Freedom” wasn’t on the list. At the time I had forgotten about that one and I didn’t want to cancel the poll all in order to do another one. I have a feeling that had I done that, even more people would have voted for an ideal that they would be willing to die for. Yes, our beloved freedom is an ideal too. You can’t touch it, taste it, hold on to it, put it in your pocket and take it home with you. In fact, I’m positive that what you define as freedom is going to be different from my definition of freedom.
When the poll ended, I put up a new poll the next day:
I know that there were more respondents to my first poll than my second poll. I’m not claiming any sort of scientific analysis here. I’m sure that there were people who voted on one poll and didn’t vote on the other. I’m sure that some people voted on both and probably voted consistently. However, the difference here is exactly what I thought it would be.
Throw pretty words at someone and they will side with it. Use a nebulous term such as “ideal” and nobody wants to die for an ideal.
And yet you do.
You are willing to die for social justice, duty and honor, god and country, and the beloved freedom that didn’t even make it into the original poll. All of these things are ideals and nothing more.
I chose “poontang” not because pussy is the be-all-end-all, but because it’s tangible. It’s something we can all agree on what it is. Everybody knows it when they see it. We can touch it, taste it, feel it, and in a tongue and cheek sort of way, we can put it in our pockets and take it home with us.
The only other reply that I saw in my first poll that made sense to me was being willing to die for your family and children. Your family is tangible. They are your flesh and your blood. When it comes to children they are your offspring and the future, so I get that one. All of the others are just words. Container words to be exact. None of them have any inherent meaning except what you give them, and what duty, god, country, honor, or even freedom, is going to be different for you as compared to me.
Politicians, persuaders, cult leaders, sales people, conmen, grifters, and all sorts of others that may not have your best interests in mind know this. The question is, do you?
Not according to what my two non-scientific impromptu polls indicate. Most of you are willing to die for something that is nothing more than a word, a container word at that. An ideal.
I don’t consider that there was a “right” or “wrong” answer when it came to these polls. You die for whatever you want to die for. I know for me, if I’m going to die for something, it’s going to be more than just a word with some feelings attached to it. I’m going to die for something tangible.
“If I’m going to get my balls blown off for a word, my word is pootang.”
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3 thoughts on “Idealism”
I was going to add family and children, but then I read your whole post and saw that someone else beat me to it. I bet that one would get a lot of votes, maybe the most.
I disagree with God being “just a word” but we’re unlikely to resolve that one in the comment section of a blog, so let’s leave it at that.
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I spent every day of most of my adult life going to work doing something that could kill me. Doing it for people who tolerated me at best and hated me for what I was doing. As corny as it sounds, I did it for all of them. Becuase whithout folks doing it, there would be chaos (or more than there already is I suppose). People who choose such lines of work, police, firefighters, military, etc.., do not care if they are loved or appreciated. They damn sure aren’t doing it for the money or “prestige” They do it because it’s the right thing to do. There are those who are dicks, bullies or just assholes, but show me a profession where there aren’t those characters. I can now sleep at night knowing I did everything in my power to keep people safe… whether they know it or apprecite it or not. So, what category does that fall in? I’m not sure. Whether it’s the Twin Towers or the shittiest housing you can find, those who made the decision to run towards the flames on 911 would do it for either one. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve done it myself. You can see just how few are willing to fight for something by looking at what’s happening today, accepting this BS socialism being forced upon us like sheep. Look at the lack of fight in Antifa and BLM when faced with people who are willing to engage them with equal force. Most men nowadays do not have the stomach for real, physical danger. We all can talk a big game, but backing it up with the nuts to follow through is rare today. Nobody tell the chinese what has happend to American men. We will all be fucked.
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[…] “greater good” is just another ideal. It’s another container word filled with nothing except what you put into it. I promise you, […]