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In the first episode of Parks & Rec, Ron Swanson sums himself up quite well in a talking head, when he describes himself as a libertarian. Libertarianism is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary ...


12

I think he is parodying an unpopular philosophy that's familiar to Americans. It's not so much that he subverts an American philosophy, but rather a modern philosophy. Since Ron Swanson is an American in America, that of course also has traits of American lifestyles (but does not necessarily mean that it is the basis for his contrarian life philosophy). ...


9

Just a documentary crew. The makers were inspired by The Office: You don’t choose mockumentary randomly as a style to shoot a show in—you choose it because it serves the themes and the ideas of the show. And certainly with The Office — and this came right from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant — the idea was that we were going to be a fly on the wall, we’...


9

Mostly, Ron works in the department because of the Rule of Funny. Having a dour anti-government personality is great for Leslie to play off of. However, Ron also keeps his job because he wants to make the government as inefficient as possible. He doesn't just see high spending as bad but everything the government actually gets done. He keeps his position so ...


8

The catchall term for Ron's behavior is rugged individualism. The stubby Wikipedia entry for that notion focuses on Herbert Hoover, since he popularized the phrase during his 1928 run for office, but the idea is much older and more associated in American culture with the behavior of Theodore Roosevelt, whom Ron is essentially a modern caricature of, by ...


6

Kundun This Fader article seems certain that the music is from Philip Glass's score of Kundun, the 1997 Martin Scorsese film about the Dalai Lama. A monk died in it, though I don't think he killed himself. The young Dalai Lama has visions of many dead monks as well, Listening to the Clip from Parks and Rec I originally thought it was the track Lhasa at ...


6

After fairly extensive researching, I can't find a rock-solid character-based reason or a quote from one of the creatives explaining why they chose Joe Biden as her celebrity crush specifically. However, Joe Biden's everyman-quality and mix of enthusiasm, goofiness and predilection to gaffes makes him pretty similar to Leslie Knope. He makes sense as a hero/...


6

While vastra360's answer is correct and it is great for comedy effect, it may also interest you to know that Ron says this in the Pilot episode: I’ve been quite open about this around the office: I don’t want this parks department to build any parks, because I don’t believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money. My ...


6

The show was filmed as if it were a documentary about the government, specifically following the Parks and Recreation team. This is why there are a lot of times where the cast look directly at the camera, to remind us that this is supposed to be us watching them through a camera crew. With that said, in regards to the censorship, things happen in life, ...


5

Parks and Recreation is an NBC production. NBC is one of the big three American broadcasting companies. ABC, NBC, and CBS produce television shows to air on their networks, which are geared towards being aired for "free"... broadcast over the airwaves to be picked up by televisions that still use antenna-based receivers (digital now, but still...). This ...


3

Ron and Liz are both cartoonishly passionate about food. Liz's relationship with food is a primary character trait. As goofy as 30 Rock is, it's striking how consistently Liz uses food as a defense or avoidance mechanism when faced with uncomfortable (usually romantic) issues. In season 2, episode 8 "Secrets and Lies," Jack tries to talk to Liz about his ...


1

There are no doubt a number of crossover similarities between the two shows. Some of them are outlined here. Obviously, both of them worked on SNL at the same time and this no doubt led to the similarities between the two shows. Not sure specifically about the food posters, but if I were to guess, it is probably not a coincidence.


1

The boss is probably the building administrator of some sort. Once Old Gus retired, Leslie probably went to this person and recommended Andy. However, it does seem that Andy has very flexible hours and is given a lot of freedom (no one ever makes sure he is doing his job), so perhaps he doesn't really have a true boss and is merely "renting" out that space.


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