The current iteration of the "adjunct movement" has jumped the shark.
Its self-appointed spokesman, who has been making far too much of a career out of being post-academic to legitimately call herself post-academic (does a general news-reading public actually care about sex at the MLA?), has written that her rageful, vulgar, over-the-top rhetorical style is a deliberate way of showing other people that it's possible to speak out without the world coming to an end. Except apparently it has:
Losing your job and rendering yourself unemployable technically isn't one of the signs of the Apocalypse, but it's also completely disingenuous to exhort people to do the things that have gotten you fired without admitting that fact except off-handed and buried in a comment thread.
Perhaps it's not unconscionable to ask other people to put their jobs on the line for systemic changes, but it's completely unconscionable to claim that you're being completely honest about what you're asking and about what it implies — the only truly honest one out there, in fact, because you have nothing left to lose — and then not to be.
Theme and variation on that conclusion, which also starts to get to my next point about this discussion just becoming a lot of noise, is this:
As I said the last time I wrote about all of this sound and fury, I hope that in a few years I will be in a position to do something both about academic publishing, which is my pet issue (about which I have written angrily and honestly but completely differently), and about the state of hiring, which is a far greater systemic issue. I'm fortunate to be in a department that is very supportive of non-TT faculty, so the idea that I would be in such a position isn't at all far-fetched. But that'll never happen if I were, say, to pull the house down on myself right now; so I'm going to do something that is completely self-serving while also being the thing that will position me to do something other than shout.
For the first time since I signed up for Twitter, I'm finding the cacophony of the academic Twitterverse to be far more distracting than productive while simultaneously being completely tedious. So I'm taking a social media break, if not until my book manuscript is finished, then at least until the end of January when my book-manuscript marathon is over. It's a bit like putting on my own oxygen mask in a depressurized airplane cabin before helping others with theirs. I'm able bodied, to continue the analogy, and yes I'm helping myself first, but if I were to pass out from lack of breathable air, I wouldn't be any good to anybody.
I don't want to continue to watch what is, in effect, someone having a huge professional meltdown, and that's what's come to dominate these last few weeks. It is no longer a social movement but rather has become voyeuristic social-emotional gore:
I'll continue to write in this space, and I may even post the occasional link on Twitter or Facebook, but other than that, I'm checked out. The din in my head, to borrow a turn of phrase from Cynthia Ozick, has just gotten too much.