I suppose graven images are back en vogue. But today’s idols are not made of stone or gold, and they do not ask the people to bow to them so they may provide rain. No. Today’s images, properly called mascots, like good talismans, attract tourists to spur the economy and propel the community to prosperity – like so many other magic tricks our illustrious leaders vision-up for the masses. The Town of Columbus fashioned its image in order to get more mileage out of a HandMade in America Small Town Revitalization grant. The likeness, named Cole Lumbus, has even taken to social media to work its magnetic powers:

Cole’s description on Facebook likens him to wood spirits and woodwose, an archaic and medieval European name for a Wildman of the woods.

“My kind has lived for centuries in the shadows of White Oak Mountain, overseeing the forests and fairy folk,” Cole says. “I bring good luck to all those who acknowledge me.”

And while I’m on the subject of widespread magical thinking, I return to the problem of the national debt and the diagnosis of those who call attention thereto as crazy. The word on the street here in Asheville is that there is no national debt, and if there is, we can vision it away. You see, the sane people here preach the Law of Attraction (which can be logically disproven with bar magnets, but who cares). The idea is pushed as “physics” and universal. Likes attract (like so many electrons). But the second part is that what one visions will come true if one but thinks hard enough about it (applying selective attention and lots of patience). If it is not successful, it might help to get a visioning stone to focus your thoughts. (I am NOT making this up. Other people are making it up and preaching it to me. Really.) So, yeah. The way out of the national debt, if it exists, is not austerity, but to vision prosperity, as we have been doing since 2008. (How’s it working out for ya?)