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 reflect MGraphic by Mark Rappaport

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


Hi Jon,

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 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

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

and censorship.

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:

Ray Carney

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!

Best wishes,


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

the operation.

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.

 dblcarneyProfessor Raymond Carney, Boston University

Ray Carney

8 Clarkson Drive

Walpole, MA 02081

Tel: 508 668 3483


Also, emails to Boston University would be appropriate, especially from those with institutional ties.

Paul Schneider, Chair, Media

Noreen Trahon

Finance & Administration Manager

Boston University

Office of the General Counsel

125 Bay State Road

Boston, Massachusetts 02215

T:  617-353-4699

F:  617-353-5529

You may also make a complaint, regarding “ethics” to the following

HotLine system.

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.

woman man dbl


  1. Damn, those were more offputting than I’d expected. The attempt to create a doctored false air of spontaneity/authenticity to the posting of the 4000 word rant gives yet another uncomfortable biographical subtext to his scholarly/theoretical work. The appeal to/conflation of Nazism/Maoism/Stalinism (all very unsavory but fairly different scenarios, most similar I think in how little they resemble BU officials making Ray Carney wake up early) make the later comparisons of NPR fueled paranoia by proxy seem hypocritical, though with such absurdly small stakes as to suggest parody.

    • Also, if I have to make another trip to Boston, that can be arranged.

  2. Would it make sense to contact BU’s student paper?

  3. Holy Shiite!! The dude is more bonkers than even I could imagine. BS by the truckload, writing like a speed freak, paranoid like an I-don’t-know-what . And BTW, NObody can write 4,000 words an hour, no matter how incoherent, even if you’re wired on a gallon of espresso and amphetamines. And Carneycritter, in an unduly modest moment, underestimates himself. The actual word count for that piece of cry-baby twaddle is 10,000 words–if word count is accurate…


  5. Am I the only one who’s wondering… other than publishing paranoid rants about BU online, teaching two classes for one semester each year, and getting himself into legal entanglements… what exactly HAS Carney contributed to the film community since 2007?

  6. you and rappaport could make a doc on the whole situation- … maybe a character study of carney the man versus carney the scholar/independent film advocate. given the fervency of his espoused values in his writings, the hypocrisy of his actions is somewhat compelling. Or maybe it’s just the same old story. Say one thing, do another, will your way, possession is law , etc. very American.

  7. I still want to hear what Carney has to say.
    Not much posted here that would convince me of anything.

    In fact the more I read this “blog”, the more I feel myself on Carney’s side.

    • Anonymity doesn’t recommend itself. Who are you? What do you do? What is your interest in this? If you approve Carney’s seizure of Mark’s materials and his refusal to return it you simply don’t share my sense of ethics. I guess you think it’s OK to do that?

        • BIG MAC in One Bite
        • Posted February 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm
        • Permalink

        One cannot even purchase any of your films on Amazon, you little bitch!

      • But you can purchase them directly from me: find email there. Thanks for the compliment!

  8. I just got updated on this – I live in another part of the world. Did Rappaport lend his copies to Carney, or to Boston University? Under what terms? Why did Carney believe it was a gift? Is Carney in that case completely deranged, and has been for many years – wich must be the case if what Rappaport claims is correct, considering the fact that Carney wrote about the material (mentioning it as a gift) on his web-site several years ago?

    Did Rappaport give Carney COPIES, or originals? Do Carney have the ONLY copies, or just prints that exists elsewhere too?

    Could it be that Carney planned or was working on something wich implies access to the material? A book about American independent cinema, say, Rappaport in a greater context, his script notes in comparison with the finished works? Could it be that this material was valueable to him professionally, but when terms suddenly changed (and Rappaport had taken it for granted that Carney would work as an archivist for FREE) he wanted to stand firmly on the legal issues (or be paid for the work)?

    Apart from all these questions, let me just say, it still seem weird to me that Carney is acting the way he does. In this context that incredibly long letter you posted on his behalf concerning problems with his university seem particularly daunting. On the other hand, as your posts on this matter clearly indicates – you don’t mind stabbing someone you earlier considered a penpal/(or friend even) in the back if you feel it morally(?) right to do so, or when the situation allows it. All the correspondancy between you and Carney, sensitive stuff, private jokes to you about punishing his students – wich in it’s right context (and cosidering your mutual interests and values) is actually very understandable (and even quite funny) but in this context only seem to function as a calculated character-suicide of the man, orchestrated by you (on Rappaport’s behalf). Because you feel Carney took advantage of you, used you.

    What I’m trying to say is, or what alternative thesis for the sake of a differentiated chewing; it’s as if you both (Carney AND you) act similarly when you don’t seem to get anywhere. Carney came to you with his university-issues, Carney used the channels he felt he had to use in order to get things moving – even though it was contradicting other parts of him – feeling used. Now you’re doing the same.

    “What did Rappaport think I was? A free-safe? Just because I wrote wonderful things about him? Just because I valued him highly? Because of his brilliant work as an artist he thought he could use me for free as a safe-keeper on one-way terms, and now I’m supposed to give it all back to him – and with it all my fledgling work related to this material?”
    Carney might have held morals high in his work, in his writings, but I don’t think he ever claimed being a saint.. Could it be he just felt a little bit used too?

    • A day late I received a reply from the writer of the above, and am removing the note I had posted, which I put up owing to the lack of a reply to an email sent a week ago.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Jon Jost provides his latest update on the Ray Carney/Mark Rappaport scandal; which, basically, is that nothing has changed, so here’s some emails Carney sent displaying his double-faced underhandedness in all this. […]

  2. […] the continuing adventures of Jon Jost vs. Ray Carney, Jost has posted up a batch of private, duplicitous correspondence from Carney. The best takeaway from this is: Don’t lie for people on your blog. Ever. And, yes, […]

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