A Thinly Veiled Threat

With respect to everything that happened over the last few days, I simply want to note the following:

  1. My blog has been spammed. Folks, many of whose IPs trace back to the New School for Social Research and the surrounding area, have spent some time copying and pasting Simon et al.’s press release, among other things, and then pasting it through-out the comments section of my blog. The press release was posted in response to all of my blog stories and in response to many of the comments on my blog. Naturally, I spent the morning weeding all of these comments out. I already published all of this information and so reposting it over and over again will help nobody better understand the situation.
  2. Simon Critchley wrote me a personal email. Finally. Here, I appreciate him writing to me, given everything that happened. And I believe that most of what he wrote was genuine even if it did not admit any fault on his part. However, he finished the email by stating the following: “So, once again, allow [me] to apologize for any hurt that our actions may have caused you and the offer remains open to print an acknowledgement of your help with the book and an explanation of the situation in any future reprint.” This brings me to the third discovery of the morning.
  3. A friend noticed that there may indeed be a thinly veiled threat hidden within the press release. I will reproduce only the pieces of the press release that are significant. 

To be frank, we felt that you had interposed yourself as an editor of the book without our agreement and we were slightly irritated by such behavior. We felt it was presumptuous, to say the least. Indeed, the three of us felt slightly manipulated by your actions. […] if you like, we could add your name to any future reprint of the book, adding a paragraph explaining how you came into the project but also why your name did not appear in the first edition.

If you look at the two bold sections of the press release, you can see that they are, indeed, offering to acknowledge the supposed fact that I had manipulated and thereby exploited themThus, they write that they would include a paragraph explaining how I came to be involved in the project and also why my name did not appear in the first edition. In the preceding paragraph they wrote precisely why they believed I did not appear in the first edition. In other words, they were threatening to put into print the fact that I, a graduate student laborer, exploited them and breached an agreement.


10 thoughts on “A Thinly Veiled Threat

  1. I’m glad you’re publicizing Critchley’s abhorrent treatment of you. Keep it up. He deserves to be shamed for this.

  2. I would just like to post a few words to say that I’m sorry to hear all this. It’s truly a sad state…

    For what it’s worth, I originally read Critchley et al.’s offer as something of a threat too — especially since you (Duane) would have zero control over what is said in the acknowledgements or how it is presented. There will be even less room for response in such a print-space.

    I also think that it’s interesting that the prime point of contact since you have gone pblic has been Mr. Blumenfeld — another grad student — and not Professors Botticci or Critchley. This might be taken to suggest a continuing pattern of students working on their behalves. Even less charitably, it also provides a certain amount of distance between what poor Mr. Blumenfeld writes and does, and the actual positions held by Bottici and Critchley. It provides room for plausible deniability…

  3. Exile — what? How in the world is Duane hurting himself? Simon Crapley is the one who looks like shit here; thanks Duane having the courage to tell this story, and thanks to Leiter getting on top of this, Crapley’s true colors as a liar, an exploiter, and a thief of student labor are known far and wide.

  4. One other thing, Duane — have you thought of approaching Critchley’s university with a formal complaint? This is a matter of academic dishonesty on par with plagiarism, because it is passing off the work of someone else (you) as his and his collaborators. You’ve got the documentary proof. This is a major violation of norms of academic integrity and, in my view, is so deliberate that it would warrant discipline if you were to file a formal complaint with his university.

  5. This whole episode only goes to show how the rise of anarchism in academia is being held out on a hook to be eviscerated by a voracious and cynical group of careerists (willing to kill the naive careerists if necessary). Even before this episode I thought Critchley was a thinly veiled narcissist in a pompous leather jacket. But really, what’s thin about it? He *is* a pompous narcissist, and his acidic defenders, signing off with trite names like Exile only reveal more clearly what a fucking comic book version of political philosophy is really being imbibed at the New School.

  6. Having been involved in a number of campaigns which have been smeared by those adopting anonymous names, but who have been proven to have links to the institutions/people the campaigns have been critiquing (as I have, but then I’m not attacking anyone’s reputation), can I just say that ‘Exile”s contributions to the comments thread on this blog positively reek of such behaviour. Grand, unsubstantiated claims made as widely and frequently as possible in the hope that such bullying tactics will damage their subject’s reputation. What a truly vile way to behave. I sincerely hope that Critchley, Blumenfeld and Bottici aren’t aware of/condoning/encouraging such bullying.

      • to wit, i wrote this:

        “i would imagine that it’s
        tough for you, duane: you have a wife and a kid to support, and you
        “are a failing academic who is struggling to get shitty adjunct jobs,
        who has not produced any significant intellectual work, who still
        recites the same tired cliches of deleuze, lacan, badiou, etc. who
        can’t write for his life “recently, i wrote a whimsical blog post” —
        how stupid is that???”

        That’s pretty mean, and I apologized to Mr. Rousselle for writing it on April 22.

        On April 24, I complimented Mr. Rousselle for being lucky to have a lovely wife who supports him emotionally and financially. And a lovely chile, I will now add.

  7. If a warrior makes loyalty and filial piety one load, and courage and compassion another, and carries these twenty-four hours a day until his shoulders wear out, he will be a samurai.

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