News

Feds Fine No Easy Day Author $7M For Breach of NDA

No Easy Day published by Dutton (2014)

Editor's Note:

Also in the news: Does “Call Me By Your Name” count as a gay film? Is there a special place in hell for serial comma users? It’s your Daily Blunt!

Publishing is an industry fraught with risks, both foreseen and unforeseen. The success of former US Navy SEAL Mark Owen’s book No Easy Day (which chronicles the raid that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden) has proven to be especially costly,  now that he’s been ordered to pay $7 million in fines to the government, having been found in violation of their non-disclosure agreement. According to the BBC, Owen ran afoul of the agreement due to incorrect advice from his lawyer, declining to let the military review his book before it went to print. In short: “It was a serious error that I urge others not to repeat.”

Is Call Me By Your Name really a work of “gay” literature? Is the resulting film adaptation truly part of “gay” film canon? A Slate article eagerly picks these nits, not only pointing out the problems with assigning undue importance to a book about bi-curious behavior written by an admittedly heterosexual author, made into a film starring two straight actors (three, if you count author André Aciman’s cameo). As the praise for this movie reaches a fever pitch, where are we to place the film and its romance in the broader context of LGBT culture? This critic remains just as conflicted as anyone: “Sure, it’s a primarily straight book, but it’s so breathtakingly beautiful that just to have it glance in our direction seems like enough.”

Poring over the titles available to prison inmates in Texas, the Dallas News has questions: What makes David Duke and Adolf Hitler more acceptable than authors like Alice Walker or William Shakespeare? While certain rules exist with good reason, the loopholes they create have allowed a disturbing amount of hatred to creep into prisoners’ literary diets.  The ACLU’s Texas chapter advocates for the availability of literally all of these selections: “There is no excuse in our opinion for banning books in the prisons. None at all.” The subjectivity involved in censorship means that virtually any policy will be unfairly implemented, at best. In the meantime, The Color Purple remains on the no

Speaking of punishment, McSweeney’s has reorganized Dante’s vision of hell to account for common linguistic transgressions, from the most innocent of crimes (relying on autocorrect) to literally the worst offenses (such as overuse of the word “literally”). Which circle of damnation will your immortal soul be flung into when that fateful moment comes? The time to start atoning is now.