I've discovered that parts of the Internet are as Dick Gregory described comedy: a venue in which people say out loud what they'd been saying under their breaths throughout their lives. The difference is, Gregory marvelled that he got paid to do such a thing, and, to my knowledge, no one is getting paid to write a scamblog.
I'm sure that some of my colleagues who didn't express their doubts in the workplace would, outside the confines of academia, complain to friends, significant others and--for those who could afford it or had good health-care insurace--their therapists. Some of the people to whom I lamented my decision to pursue "the life of the mind" never could or would believe what I told them. That resulted in the end of a couple of friendships or at least one love relationship with people who believed that if I just kept on working hard and meeting the right people, I'd have that tenured position and time to finish my novel and publish my poems.
At least my parents and one sibling understand the situation, even if they still are shocked that the reality of being a college instructor is nothing like the tweedy upper-middle-class life portrayed in the popular media. Thankfully, other people are becoming more aware of the fact that the vast majority of college instructors--including all who don't have tenure--are pawns in a system that's every bit as exploitative as that of a multinational corporation that sets up shop in an impoverished, corrupt dictatorship that has no laws to protect the environment or children or to allow women to be anything more than the chattel of men.
That so few non-tenured instructors raise even a peep about their lot may well lend credence to the notion that academia is a cult. But, more to the point, it is a symptom an economy in which some of its most educated people are part of an indentured servant class that is no more secure than a Wal-Mart worker in any state south of the Potomac.
To those of you who've been reading and offering your support: Thank you. I also want to express gratitude to those of you from whom I've learned so much. I won't mention any by name, lest I forget anyone, but I think you know who you are! I hope you, and your loved ones, have a better year than the one that's about to pass.