How to be a man

   < < Go Back
from Bloomberg BusinessWeek,

The co-star of NBC’s (CMCSA) Parks and Recreation is in New York to promote his book, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living.

The book is part memoir, chronicling his journey from rural Illinois to TV stardom, but it’s also a man’s manifesto, even if he writes, “I seem to have been associated with certain traits of machismo in the zeitgeist”

The overlap between Offerman and the character he plays on TV, Ron Swanson, is not insignificant. There are philosophical differences: Swanson is a libertarian Lou Grant, abhorring the government he works for, while Offerman abides by more of a muscular humanism. Both men genuinely cherish a breed of manliness that modern society, they feel, has swept aside.

About that mustache, … “Growing up, the mustache was a great symbol of virility to me. Two of my uncles had great mustaches. They were farmers,” he says. “Getting old enough to grow a mustache meant I could drive the truck and the combine and be in charge. And I could have 12 beers instead of the mere three [my uncles] allowed me in junior high.” “I think that a great many people wear mustaches ironically—it’s sort of a hipster accessory,” he says.

The book tackles topics such as fashion (“Jobs that require a suit upset me. They displease me much, as our world is rife with such superficial conformity”); intoxicants (“I am a supersweet teddy bear, but when I drink tequila, I want to knife somebody”); and chivalry (after he poses the question, “If you ladies want to be treated as equals, then shouldn’t you be able to open your own car door?”Be tough, but kind. Be an individual.

More From Bloomberg BusinessWeek: