Also Sprach the erudite and kind Werner Herzog’s Bear at Notes from the Ironbound (the post is many times worth reading in full):
I then remind myself that it is in fact an insane profession. For instance, I know multiple people who’ve published books with reputable presses on important topics who can’t get tenure track jobs. I know many more who are fine scholars and stellar teachers who toil as low-wage contingent faculty, or who are on the tenure track at schools that pay little and offer a pittance, if anything, for research funding. At the same time, I know complete and utter mediocrities with tenure. I have seen someone get promoted to full professor for being a crappy department chair. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it is these people who keep the academic dream alive. The youngsters see such mediocrity and think “if they can make it, surely I can too.”
Werner Herzog’s Bear should have written my Slate article instead of me–under the name Werner Herzog’s Bear, selbstverständlich. Many Internet fist-bumps to you.