Ron Swanson, a character from the TV "Parks and Recreation," can teach us valuable, practical lessons about science and culture this holiday season.
Since this holiday season America is caught in the midst of a cultural miasma, where people are confused about what is acceptable sexual harassment and what is not, along with the usual recurring concerns about commercialization, I am compiling some practical guidance. I want to wish you a Ron Swanson Christmas.
Swanson, a character on the television show "Parks and Recreation", is a staunch libertarian, which sounds counter-intuitive for someone in city government but that is why he is there; he wants to keep spending low and he knows if he is in a job someone who might want to make government bigger cannot be.
In his role he makes sure government does nothing, so that it stays out of the way. And he delivers some common-sense science and health advice.
So if you are dreading an upcoming holiday gathering where someone tells you about some new trend for 2018, like health gurus saying they are going to recommend replacing Internet breast milk with bovine milk - the Teat-To-Table Initiative - geared toward Manhattan elites at $80 a half gallon (1), or a discussion about how you will be paying $10 a minute for Internet access if we go back to 2015, Ron Swanson is here to help.
All images copyright NBC Universal.
On people who scaremonger food
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared."
"The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds and die of a heart attack at 43, you can! You are free to do so. To me, that’s beautiful."
"There must be a mistake. You've accidentally given me the food that my food eats." Season 5, episode 12.
"I call this turf ‘n’ turf. It’s a 16 oz T-bone and a 24 oz porterhouse. Also, whiskey and a cigar. I am going to consume all of this at the same time because I am a free American."
“Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.” Season 4: Win, Lose, or Draw
"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I get to kill something." Season 3:Camping
On mental health
“She’s an adult now. She should know how to responsibly handle and discharge a weapon. That there is a Sig Sauer .22 caliber Mosquito manufactured in Switzerland for their pussy police force. This two toned light weight model is perfect for a skinny thing like you.” Season 1, Episode 23
"Birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards." Season 3:Eagleton
On truth in advertising
"There is only one thing I hate more than lying. Skim milk, which is water that’s lying about being milk." Season 5:Episode 17, Partridge
"Dear frozen yogurt,you are the celery of desserts. Be ice cream, or be nothing." Season 6: Anniversaries
"Capitalism: God's way of determining who is smart and who is poor." Season 4:Citizen Knope
On office relationships
"I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes." Season 3: Flu Season
"America: The only country that matters. If you want to experience other ‘cultures,’ use an atlas or a ham radio." Season 3: Go Big or Go Home
"I'm not big on charities. Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Don't teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He's a grown man. Fishing's not that hard." Season 2:Telethon
Okay, please ignore that last one. While fishing may not be that hard, educating the public about science and health is. America is overrun with scaremongering about food, energy and medicine on one side and people touting miracle vegetables on the other. Corporate media are sure not going to help.
So we do need your help to have a Merry Christmas, we are overwhelmingly supported by individual donations, no government funding, no fancy endowment. You can make a donation here.
(1) Yes, that is regular milk, but Teat To Table sounds more expensive and therefore morally superior.