The Dealer’s blues

The Dealer excels at making people want unnecessary goods. But then the holistic development system changed the world. What will happen to the Dealer as people are increasingly adopting a more moderate way of life?



Out in the harbour a lone shape stares out to sea. He waits for a new shipment of goods. – This darkness is driving me crazy, he murmurs, raising the collar of his coat over his ears. – I wish it would at least snow...


In the Oil Age, people thought that the Dealer drove the economy. He was skilled at creating false needs. “Buy this, and you’ll find happiness...” Then the Baltic City adapted the holistic development system.  Many advertisement agencies helped the city and the organizations lobby for change, and soon people at every street corner were swearing by moderation and slow living.


The Dealer failed to adapt. He has gradually turned into a nameless, shady crook. Karlsson the smuggler is his last business partner in the city.




It’s been an anxious day, like always before a job. The Dealer only just managed to duck out of the way at the terrace, to avoid bumping into Anna, the smuggler’s girlfriend. Anna does not approve of their dealings.


Earlier in the evening he popped by the energy conference to meet the old boys. They clapped enthusiastically as a blonde researcher presented her breakthrough, based on renewable energy. The Dealer thought it was great too. But what was all this talk about openly publishing her results? Hah! People still thought they could save the world without economic growth.


While everyone else was chatting excitedly about the evening ball of the energy conference, the Dealer sidled towards the harbour.


The wind picks up over the sea, scattering the clouds. A boat slides closer over the moonbridge. The dealer waves his hand. – You got anything for me?


- I got some new stuff.


They lift the boxes onto the pier in silence. As Karlsson unties the boat, he hits the Dealer with some news that makes his blood stand still.


- Just so you know, I’m done smuggling.


- What do you mean done? People will buy anything, so long as it’s cheap!


That’s right, Karlsson states. –This stuff is just so unnecessary. I’m not smuggling anymore. I got other plans.


After stashing the goods in the warehouse, the Dealer wanders through the dark streets of the city with a heavy heart. How can he secure his material standard of living in a system where people gush about happiness without materialism.


- What am I going to deal, with nothing coming in.  Dead souls? All is vanity...




The Dealer decides to purchase a one way ticket across the sea. He knows that people are developing holistic development systems on every continent. He ironically asks himself whether he can still survive anywhere with his old world methods. In any case, the Dealer needs to put some distance between himself and his old haunts.


It’s a bit of a squeeze, saying goodbye to the few intimates he’s kept in touch with. They seem to understand where he’s coming from.


- You’ll come back with your head full of new ideas. And then set up a firm that is in touch with these modern values, predicts the Dealer’s sister, with the younger members of the family echoing her.


- I’ll come work for you then, promises Johnny, the Dealer’s godson.



The Dealer boards the deck of an old schooner. A seagull screams. His senses are full of the sea, and suddenly he feels lighter than for a long time. The horizon is clad in a mysterious haze, but right now the schooner is sailing with the wind.





Story by Marjo Soulanto
Illustrations by Mari von Boehm
Translation by Arttu Ahava

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