I just got caught up on the kerfuffle at Tenured Radical's. (Is "kerfuffle" now the official term for academic blogosphere dust-ups?) I read through the comments, of which there are many, and was struck--as most readers were, I think--by the animosity shown by various factions. In particular, there were some grad student commenters who were furious by what they saw as the tenured writers' disdain and disrespect for people of their status.
I do not think that tenured (or tenure-track) faculty are the appropriate target for such vitriol; they a) have almost no say at all in the structure of academia as a whole, b) mostly probably do in fact feel a lot of compassion for the disappointed job-seekers, and c) in TR's case, actually expressed little that I construed as disdain or disrespect in her post or in the subsequent comments.
Remember what it's like, people--especially people who had a long period of not-having-a-job prior to having one. Remember that it is January, the time of year when you're not getting campus interviews, and have to give up on the thin hope that those schools that didn't interview in Round 1 will suddenly see your glory and give you a call. It's the time of year when you're realizing, really and truly, that those cautionary tales do after all apply to you, and that, even though you thought you knew that, you never really believed that you wouldn't be one of the Chosen. The time of year when the only person you hear about getting an offer is that asshole who irritated you with her pomposity at the grad conference two years ago. When the wikis are populated by a handful of delighted, crowing new faculty and your phone is silent.
It's the time of year when the friendly, encouraging queries by junior faculty at your institution about how the market is going strike you as hideously condescending, when your gut response is easy for you to say, getting an ivy job when you were still ABD. When the thought that you wouldn't care whether you got a job or not because what was really important was having 5-10 years to explore interesting ideas suddenly doesn't seem compelling, and you realize that you actually are basing your self-worth on something that is entirely beyond your control. When the encouragement that you've received for years--of course you'll get a good job! you're so well situated for the market!--sounds like lies (although they aren't) and you recall them with a bitterness bordering on rage. When the depths of your envy and self-loathing appall you.
So I can imagine how I would feel, when I was going through all this (for yes, the above is autobiographical! Why do you ask?), if someone said to me, Hey, you knew going in that the odds were slim; what are you complaining about? Maybe you just shouldn't have gone to grad school at all. And I can imagine how TR's post and the one at Dean Dad's could sound like that to a job seeker in this position, even though I--as someone a little more detached--can see that that is not what they actually meant.
So maybe some people are a little, well, tetchy. But hey, let's remember what a huge number of our fellow scholars are going through right now, and remember the emotional hideousness that is the unsuccessful job search (and even many successful job searches), and let us be, well, nice.