The new film “Coastal Elites” is a series of monologues written by Paul Rudnick, one of which features Bette Midler as a retired New York schoolteacher who’s educated, funny, possibly insane, and in police custody for snatching a maga hat off a man in a coffee shop. That’s not much of a stretch for Midler. Plus, Jill Lepore describes how a pandemic ends, and N. K. Jemisin talks about how the virulent racism of H. P. Lovecraft, a pioneer of horror writing, shaped his influential fiction.
Bette Midler and the Screenwriter Paul Rudnick on “Coastal Elites”
In the new film, on HBO, the actress’s role is no big stretch: a smart, funny New Yorker so angered by a maga hat that she winds up in police custody. (This segment contains adult language.)