Having waited for several months for Boston University to respond to the previous postings, and to the on-line petition, with indications that they were doing something, the latest word is that they seem to have taken the usual corporate route, and done a CYA move: they tossed it into the hands of their legal counsel, and latest word from Mark indicates as far as the the university is concerned it is a private matter between Prof. Carney and Mr. Rappaport.
As Boston University requested that I provide copies of correspondence which Carney had had with me prior to my blog posting, My Brilliant (Academic) Career, of March 23, 2012, done at the behest of Carney, and as Carney has not seen fit to reply to the emails I sent him when the Rappaport case came to my attention, I have decided it is appropriate to publish those letters. I print them below, intact. As they indicate, Professor Carney carefully orchestrated the publishing of his letter in the post of March 23, though he requested I make it appear I did so on my own. The truth is that he had me wait to print his long screed as he re-wrote and edited what he wanted to say. If you will read through, and consider Carney’s behavior and actions, one could fairly say he is an extremely duplicitous and devious soul. In light of these letters, his actions with regard to Mark Rappaport take on a certain ill logic.
Nov. 11, 2011
Just an update on the general situation: Gerry Peary the BU booker turned me down on inviting you to speak and/or present a film. Just between us: I wouldn’t let it bother you. Gerry is only interested in chasing the latest fire engine in terms of media coverage and if someone is not on the “hot list” then it is almost impossible to persuade him of the value of an event. And (as can be predicted, and applies to people of his sort) he has NO OPINIONS/JUDGEMENT/INSIGHT of his own, but just looks in the Times or some Film mag for his ideas of what is hot or not. If you had an article about you in the Times, he’d suddenly be very interested!!
John Gianvito (I know you know him, but he’s been a friend of mine for more than 20 years at this point) told me that their speakers’ series at the College pays too little and would only be an insult to offer you something there, but did say that he was going to pursue thee idea of inviting you by approaching their booker for their professional-level subscription series arts program (something called ARTSEMERSON) and that that might or might not fly. Anyway, that’s still a possibility.
On my own private front: I’m still deciding how and when to “go public” with the BU stuff. Nothing has changed in terms of their treatment of me; in fact it’s prob. become a little worse than before. They have not only cut my salary and assigned my classes to awful rooms and times, but lately have issued all sorts of de facto censorship rulings against me. (E.G. when I travelled to Toronto about ten days ago, my Chairman said he “wanted to go on the record” that I was not to talk about anything bad about BU or the dept. or I would be in trouble with the university.) So they are actually shameless about the lack of intellectual freedom at BU. Suspending my web site (and screaming at me for hours and then lowering my evaluations and docking my salary about what was posted on it–where I actually uttered the heresy that “people who had spent their lives working in the industry might not be the best possible teachers for the next generation of artists”—outrageous, eh? but things like this were to them since they all came from “the industry” themselves….. Universities are big on supporting the expression of “liberal” opinions until they actually say something that affects or applies to them!!! Just like the US govt or a fascist regime.
So I’ll let you know about that one in a week or two.
Stay well. I’ll keep working the angles for you in the neighborhood. Another possibility is a retrospective at a local film festival in May. The Boston Indep. Film Festival. Really top notch and smart, and I’m on their board of advisors.
See you around.
Nov. 22, 2011
Sorry to have been out of touch…. but the term is over and I finally
have a minute. Here’s the deal (on several things):
1. Can you please use this email account, and only this account, in
the future for all mailings? I am convinced that BU is reading (or at
least considering reading) all of my university email. So use only
2. I finally had an hour to write out an account of the BU fiasco in
detail (about 4000 words, yikes!). But I did it carefully and it tells
the whole Godawful tale of torture and stupidity. I want to send it to
you as soon as I hear back that you can still post it in the
reasonable future. If you are able to do this, I will be in your debt.
3. Assuming you can post it, can I ask that you do it in the following
way? Just post the text that I am sending you (I wrote and will send
it in a MS Word docx file) as if it were merely an email I sent to you
that you decided to post. In other words, I would like the cover story
to be that I sent you and email and you decided it was important
enough to post and you just did it. I would like it if you didn’t say
that I asked you to post it. Is that clear? Is that OK? I am going to
be in a heap of trouble for this (when you read it, you’ll see why)
and don’t need to compound the felony by making it seem that I
deliberately had it posted. I’ll act like it was an accident of my
sending it to you. (These fuckers, like all professionals–doctors,
lawyers, etc.–regard the “going outside the system” as one of the
cardinal sins so I can at least say that I didn’t realize you were
going to post it, even as it will still scorch the proper parties.)
4. You can feel free to include a preface or note of your own to
preceded or follow it, whatever you feel moved to write. I leave that
up to you, but just don’t reveal that I wrote this particular email to
you asking that you post the material, just say that you received it
from me and thought it raised important issues that were worth calling
to people’s attention. Is that OK?
Finally, to repeat, use this gmail.com account for all future
correspondence. If the BU fuckers are reading my university email,
that is why I can’t possibly write the above stuff on the bu.edu
account or receive mail from you about it on that account or they will
bust me for certain…..
As you will see, the situation is almost unbelieveable and
unbelieveably horrible. It gives me insight into how close the Nazis
and Stalinists and Maoists are to all of us, or how easy it is for
even an upstanding institution to move down that road toward fascism
When I hear back from you, assuming the above is OK with you, I’ll
send on the MS Word file, which you can open and post to your blog. It
has italics in it, which sometimes don’t post well on the internet,
but I trust you to do whatever you see fit to make the posting
adequate. As I say I wrote it as a selfcontained email to you,
beginning with “Dear Jon” and ending with my name and signature box,
so you can just present it as a single long email on the scariness of
the American educational system…… or however you see it.
I may be out for part of tomorow afternoon, but whenever I am able to
access email again, I’ll send the file onto you, if the preceding is
Keep fighting the good fight. And thanks, Jon! You’re a mench!!
Ray Carney, Prof. of Film and American Studies
January 5, 2012
Good to hear from you!
I’ll talk to this Adam Roffmann guy (the Indie Film Fest) and tell him
to give you some moola and that it will be a bargain at twice the
price! But God knows if he’ll take the bait… I find the Film Fests
(even of indie work) are hardly different from the suburban malls in
their desire to sell tickets, get press coverage, and score names…..
why do they exist if they don’t want to be any different from the
mainstream theaters???? But I shall let you know what turns out.
Sure, have Buck send me anything you or he thinks is worth it from
him. I teach my Indie Film course this spring and am always looking
for new “discoveries!” My goal is to assault my students and destroy
their bourgeois complacencies…. but short of that, just to give them
a few new insights and experiences!……My home address (BU is
mailroom hell, so avoid that one) is:
8 Clarkson Drive
Walpole, MA 02081
The pickup/station wagon trip sounds just out there enough to be
fun…… Did you ever see my pal Robert Kramer’s Route One? He
travelled from Maine to Florida and filmed scenes along the way for a
portrait of America. A vision of insanity. Four or five hours in all.
Pretty good stuff. (Not, never, of course, on video, but I show it
every four or five years in my courses. Another reason to remove me.
It drives the students and faculty nuts. Their punishment!)
Thanks for the quick response. Late here.
Feb 27, 2012
Jon, FYI, look at:
This State Dept. story of expelling someone for telling the truth and
saying waht he thinks is much closer to my situation than anything
I’ve seen in an academic setting. The only differences are in favor of
the State Department actually:
1. I am not just walking the halls, but having my pay cut, and being
retaliated against in every possible way (terrible schedules,
classrooms, verbal and other abuse).
2. This is being done not by a government body like the State Dept.
but by an institution (a university) explicitly committed to free
inquiry and open expression.
3. The treatment I have received is endorsed at the highest academic
levels by the President and Provost and even the Ombuds person is
afraid to speak out against it…..
For what it’s worth. Censorship is the preferred policy of those who
have no reply to what is being said.
March 5, 2012
I’ve been out of touch. Just checking in on whether you can see your
way clear to posting that email…… My main concern about the timing
is that Feb and March are the major months universities do hiring for
the following academic year and thus the best time for me to have any
leverage against them, if word gets out via my letter to you about the
anti-faculty, censorhip, retaliation policy in place at BU. If the
material goes up after that, they won’t care nearly as much since next
year will be in place.
But I totally understand and sympathize with your busyness. Just
thought I’d touch base.
Keep kicking against the you know whats!
March 6, 2012
Thanks for whatever you can do, Jon. Of course your endorsement and
anything you can say on my behalf will count for a lot, but I
understand how much you must be in catch-up mode, particularly after
All best wishes. Six forty AM here. I’m off to BU to teach and won’t
be done till around 10PM tonight. (Part of their punishment of me is
my awful teaching schedule!)
Best wishes and thanks,
March 8, 2012
Thanks, Jon, for sending me Jason S’s message and your mini-interview
reply. It all goes into the mill of my mind for thinking about you and
your important art. Some day maybe we can do a real interview for
publication in a major place, but not now when we’re both so damn
busy, you with your film and me with the semester (at its exact
half-way point this week).
Stay well. Keep going. And keep telling the truth, even if (and when)
people may not recognize it, or want to hear it. We have to both keep
giving our gifts, even if only a few people understand or want them.
March 27, 2012
Thanks, Jon. And most people who read it on your blog won’t even
think, one way or the other, about the permission issue in my view.
It’s only the shit BU administrators who would use it to fry me, and,
as I noted, to doge what I say by “changing the subject” from the
issues I raise to the fact that I raised them “in public.” (Of course,
as you know and I re-certify to you again, I have raised them dozens,
nay hundreds of times, in memos,meetings, emails, etc. with them
already.) I appreciate your respecting my judgment on this one.
Bureaucracy does anything in its power to “change the subject,” so
this will (in my view) disarm that tactic.
Following these letters, I wrote to Carney a handful of times, inquiring if there had been any result from the publication, but he never responded. This termination of correspondence on his part suggests several things – that he’d gotten what he wished out of me and I was dispensable, &/or, that as the situation with Mark Rappaport had taken a sharp turn towards a legal confrontation, he was either too occupied with that, or surmised where I would stand if I knew of it. On hearing about what had happened with Mark I wrote Carney a number of times, initially in a friendly manner, asking for an explanation and that he promptly return Mark’s materials. These have been posted in the first Chained Relations blog. I have never heard in any manner from Ray Carney since the last note he sent on March 27, 2012.
If this matter has not been resolved in the coming month, I will proceed to publish letters written by BU to Mark Rappaport, and to myself, and will publish a letter Mark has sent to the President of BU and the head of Carney’s department.
The Boston Globe has been working on a supposedly long and in-depth article on this matter which is supposed to go to press in February. IndieWire also has said it would do something, and has interview Mark and myself, but so far nothing solid.
As the spring term has begun and Professor Carney is evidently still in the employ of BU, and teaching his class, I would suggest that students either boycott his classes or inquire in each class when he is going to return Mark’s materials to him, and for him to explain in full his stance in this matter. Any time Professor Carney raises matters of ethics, corruption, integrity, honesty and truthfulness, which he seems wont to do, he should be aggressively challenged to provide an explanation for the ethics of his actions with respect to Mark Rappaport. Should he assert that he was “given” Rappaport’s materials, it should be demanded that he produce a legally viable written letter/contract to that effect.
Those following this are encouraged to contact Professor Carney directly, at the following emails, or at his address.
8 Clarkson Drive
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel: 508 668 3483
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Also, emails to Boston University would be appropriate, especially from those with institutional ties.
Paul Schneider, Chair, Media firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance & Administration Manager
Office of the General Counsel
125 Bay State Road
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
You may also make a complaint, regarding “ethics” to the following
BU’s Ethics stance is published here.
You may also submit a report by telephone through the EthicsPoint Call Center by dialing toll-free 1-866-294-8451. Alternatively, you may submit a report in writing to the following address:
Boston University, C/O EthicsPoint, PO Box 230369, Portland, OR 97223
It is a bit curious that in classic contemporary manner, the corporate organism which is Boston University appears to have out-sourced its “ethics” mechanism to a company on the other side of the country.