I've found it helpful having like-minded colleagues. But you need to have separation between who your friends are, who you wouldn't brown nose, and your professional colleagues, who could be invaluable in helping you get into a new position with a company that is better suited for you. ANYONE can bitch and moan about "THE SYSTEM"; true professional artists learn how to USE The System to serve them. I certainly don't consider myself a sell out or a brown noser. I have a better job and life now because I formed the connections necessary in my field and worked my as* off to gain a reputation completely different than you might think if you met me.
Trust me, it's worth it.