THE BEER BEAT: Wicked, Weed — Whatever: “This week in solipsistic beer narcissism” (2014).

Yes, there’s even a Black Market Brewery.

It’s Greatest Hits Week at THE BEER BEAT, and rather than waste valuable drinking time trying to unravel the wicked and weedy issues surrounding the latest brewery sellout, I’ve concluded my spleen is more efficiently vented by reprinting a stellar selection of “wrote it all before.”

Monday: THE BEER BEAT: Wicked, Weed — Whatever: “Tastes of paradise can shatter mirrors” (2014).

As we await the next brick in the wall, I’ll be reprinting a few previous columns this week, with the aim of making the case that you’re better off nurturing your local and regional brewing communities than chasing white whales.

Seeing as they’ve been dropping like flies these past few years …

10 Barrel Brewing apparently was the most recently deceased when I updated the following in 2014. Merely substitute the words Wicked Weed, Elysian or The Dear Departed, and it should read just as well.

This week in solipsistic beer narcissism (2014).

Are you fed up with words you don’t understand?

Tired of scrolling down to your favorite contrarian beer columnist, then coming to a screeching halt when he uses words like “local multiplier effect” and “egalitarianism” in the very same sentence?

Hi, Roger A. Baylor here with an amazing new product – you’ve got to see it to believe it – called the Dictionary, and it’s a do-it-yourself confusion remover with professional results … guaranteed!

Just pick the word you want to define, match it to the alphabetical listing in the Dictionary, and read the answer.

It’s that easy.

And, because it’s wireless, there are no plugs, cords, batteries, tools or wiring to worry about.

With the amazing Dictionary, you can even learn how to pronounce the word!

The Dictionary contains all the words that you’ll ever encounter in this or any other column, and yet it’s small enough to put one in every room where you might find yourself reading the newspaper. Place one next to the toilet so you don’t have to go back downstairs to the den. Keep another on the porch for smoke breaks. The amazing dictionary fits in the glove box, in your purse or on top of the coffee table.

The Dictionary’s powerful information technology lets you define old words and learn new ones. It cuts through those multi-syllable, compound nightmares with ease, and talk about shock-absorbency … Watch while I shield my head with the Dictionary as my assistant attempts to beat my brain senseless with a RateAdvocate beer review.

See? Even after continuous pounding, my synapses are still transmitting neuron signals … and my session ale remains delicious.

That’s the power and protection of the Dictionary, folks.

Call now and you’ll get the Dictionary for only $19.99. You’ll also receive my handy Sticky Notepad and Self-Sharpening Pencil, absolutely free. Just copy the problem word from my column and stick it to the Dictionary until you feel like looking it up.

Yes, you’ll get the Dictionary, the Sticky Notepad and the Self-Sharpening Pencil, all for only $19.99. But if you call right now, I’ll double this entire offer. Just pay shipping, and you’ll get two Dictionaries, two Sticky Notepads and two Self-Sharpening Pencils. But you can only get this special two-for-one offer by calling now …

Way back in 2010, when 10 Barrel Brewing was but a gleam in Carlos Brito’s numbers-crunching testes, President Barack Obama returned to a theme often broached during his historic campaign for the White House. It happened during the 2010 State of the Union address.

“The best anti-poverty program around is a world class education.”

No, not the Indiana wholesaler.

Naturally, the precise components of a “world class education” are open to interpretation, discussion and debate between open-minded citizens, assuming you can find any of them in these idiotically polarized times, but the overall sentiment that education is a corrective to impoverishment has been proven to be truthful again and again.

I submit that the word “impoverishment” has more than one meaning as used in this context. We’d be correct in the assumption that there are clear and compelling correlations between education and the eradication of material impoverishment.

However, we might also consider impoverishment in creative, artistic and cultural contexts, and how one’s attitude toward the general topic of knowledge, pertaining to its veracity as an end onto itself as well as the tangible benefits gained from expansive education as opposed to a confining illiteracy, shapes what we know and the uses to which we put our knowledge.

According to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who drank wine: “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.”

What I think he meant is that possessing something of supposed value for the sole purpose of the object’s ability to reflect its “value” back on the holder somewhat misses the point. The true value is derived from the object being used wisely, and a well-rounded education supplies the means to make this determination.

Given the perpetual linkages between education and personal advancement, why is it that people choose to devalue the notion of education, eschewing the why, how and wherefore, and substituting in their place a solipsistic, narcissism-driven, knee-jerk, me-first hedonism?

Perhaps it’s the logical outcome of our American strains of materialism and consumerism. When it comes to pulse-quickening snobbery, exclusionary avarice and frenzied hoarding, the very last thought surfacing in one’s fevered, acquisitive brain is the possibility that all is not what it seems.

Do you still desire the object once it is revealed that the profit chain leads straight into the Texas-sized mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, or to the owners of factory-farmed chickens wallowing in their own feces, or to that bastard Obama’s pocket … or, into the very coffers of ISIS (read: AB-InBev).

Except you really want it, don’t you? You want it right now – and by “it” I refer not to a mass-produced Trojan Goose barrel-aged ale, but to a blissfully unexamined version of capitalist doltishness, wherein there are no reasons whatever for diagnosing the nature of the itch, only interminable scratching.

The writer Aldous Huxley called this phenomenon soma. If you don’t know the source of this reference, perhaps it’s time to read a book.

But I’m nothing if not stubborn. Ideas matter, and yet at present, both the country at large and my own beer and brewing milieu are dismally stupid and mercilessly tacky places. These daily tsunamis of crass materialism and consumerist greed have come to define the American experience, and even when the topic is “craft” beer – perhaps modern America’s signature accomplishment – we have digressed just as quickly into 24-7, must-have shopping zombies, pausing occasionally to thank Jesus for the blessed privilege of possessing our baubles, and ignoring what’s happening in our own back yards because there’s not enough status in mere localism.

It’s the old Chinese proverb – yes, you guessed it, the one printed on plasticized card stock suitable for framing, and available not from the heirs to Billy Mays, but from Wal-Mart via Guangdong Province:

“It’s all about me.”

Yes, it is.

And that’s also why you don’t interest ME any longer.

What would happen if you combined classic sacred choral music with a thesaurus? You’d have a synonym for a seminal hymnal!

Hi, Roger Baylor here for the Sing ‘o’ Saurus. It’s no ordinary reference book.

Watch this!