I couldn’t post this comment on a friend of mine’s blog: http://www.onpoptheology.com/2012/09/ron-swanson-is-man.html
But this is what I was trying to say in my response to him.
I think Ron Swanson is a response to the man-boy character. That role isn’t completely ignored, however (in the tv show Parks and Recreation). We see man-boy characteristics in Tom (Aziz Ansari) and naturally man-boyness incarnate can be found in Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt).
Although, what I find most interesting about these characters is that Andy is dumb and silly, but sympathetic. Tom can be immature and insecure, but he’s not actually incompetent and is basically relatable. However, Ron Swanson isn’t really presented as someone who is relatable. He is more of a symbol or a caricature of manliness. He’s not something one should ACTUALLY be, but something that should be respected and perhaps to some degree admired, but not necessarily emulated.
Ron Swanson is a man, but a dying obsolete version of what is expected of a man. I’m not sure what that says about our culture. Nonetheless, this is my take on him and your idea. Great post!