On the movies of Clint Eastwood, by The New Yorker:

“Mass culture is a machine for showing desire,” Roland Barthes wrote. It’s also a machine for expressing resentment, a frustration of desire. Harry Callahan is lonely, hard, intolerant. Eastwood became popular, in part, because he allowed people to dream that they could be effective without being nice.

What does our mass culture desire today? Winning arguments and passing judgment according to cable news and reality television…