What Now with Simo

by Simo Sakari Aaltonen

A freeform, wide-ranging podcast by writer and composer Simo Sakari Aaltonen on any topics foremost on his mind at the time of recording. The seasons are also collected in book form. Some favourite topics include creativity and all the arts — music, films, screenplays, fiction, poetry, comics, games, comedy, and everything in between. Messages from listeners welcomed for possible inclusion in an episode. Note that sending a rec ...   ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 5

  • 5.11 Summer Day, Rainy Night

    5.11 Summer Day, Rainy Night

    PART 1: SUMMER DAY: One last summer day — Boat on the shore — Did go rowing — Times I had the beach to myself — Later realised why — Water just right — Giving thanks for the beautiful day — Phone alarm — Many motivations — Boat drifting — Oh, a fish | PART 2: RAINY NIGHT: Rainy night on the balcony — Most of the lake recording unusable — Something discussed in season 1 — Artist Curt Swan — Known for his work on the superhero Superman — Feels strange to be talking about this again — A later realisation — Swan was pushed aside — Had to happen — Necessary change — Shifted position — This character — So strange I ever said it — Like another person — A personal reason — A brief good period for those comics that coincided with my teens — Intricate continuity — For the first time a sense of evolving into something more — “Mature” — Disastrous results — Wrong turn — Misguided — Not the right place for those kinds of stories — Simply had some fond memories — Sweet ideals — Being a decent, even a really good person — Intentionally misleading covers — Acknowledging my changed views — Another reason to be thinking of change — Too static — Lacking magic — Things that can make you feel good every day — An insidious way for a person’s life to become less beautiful and treasurable — Times of staleness — Even when at the same time creating meaningful things — Why I’m here — Always different levels — Not rejuvenating, revivifying — Being able to wake up refreshed and recovered — Reasons why it may not happen — Sleep deprivation and illnesses — Life becoming more narrow and restricted — Freedom and new possibilities — Change becomes more difficult, if not impossible, the longer the static circumstances continue — Consciously shaking things up — Realising the need for change — Amassing more and more — Then started getting rid of things — Oppressed by all the stuff — Not giving me anything anymore — Seller’s tables at Finncon — Long time ago — Sold most of what I had — Happier afterwards — The horror of hoarding — A psychological problem — Mental health issue — Can be extremely damaging — Becoming encased in your collection of belongings — “Will I really miss something that I’m now getting rid of?” — No — That voice should be ignored — Life became lighter — Collecting as a form of hoarding — Seeking security by owning physical things — I love having room rather than stuff — Not enough life for any human being to keep returning to thousands of things — Dust — Mould — The feeling of being normally healthy — Feeling good about being alive and able to breathe easily — Not something to take for granted — Some inner journeys are delusions — Good health is luxurious — Young people’s beliefs that they’ll always find meaning in the things they currently do — Happiness not in things themselves — No reason to keep a thing anymore — A lighter life — In the here and now — The future is not guaranteed — Wishes for insight and ability to make changes

  • 5.10 Danger of Triviality, Creative Practicalities, and New Music

    5.10 Danger of Triviality, Creative Practicalities, and New Music

    “Season 5 Opening” (@ 0:00) — Second episode of the day — Recorded on different dates — Closer to the mic again — Nicer listening experience — Lake episodes — Drifting ever so slowly — Without larger goals, danger of falling into triviality — Dreams, aspirations — Not selfish things — Couples bickering in grocery stores over trivial things — Triviality has taken over their lives — Many different forms — Obsessions — Hypochondria — Can be learned from others — Empathy for people with this problem — Be careful — Preoccupation with quirks — Irritability, pettiness — Policing other people’s behaviour — Bike example — Rageful people — Eliminating ways of wasting time — One way to avoid this fate — Lost human potential — Being creative — Numerous ways — My mother’s creativity — She made our whole yard bloom — Kamikaze motorboat — Album Early Music Archive — 50 early tracks — Wide variety of styles — American Indian ponderosa pine flute — My way of playing it — Lovely mellow quality — On Bandcamp, streaming, and for download — Praise for Bandcamp — Great way to support artists — Ways to help artists create more — More income from creative work equals more creative work possible — And faster — Reacting, sharing, word of mouth — Adding tracks to playlists — One thing leading to another — Chains of events — Simply doing my work and putting out information about it — Limits of what artists themselves can do — The rest depends on others — Not becoming an advertising agency — The people I hope to reach — My first single — “Land of Youth & Beauty” — “Lake Presentation” video (2022) for the book Land of Youth & Beauty: Early Poems — Vision of a book in a lake — Recap of the creation story — The vision happened again with the book with me — Sunlight shimmering — No special effects — The life of an independent creator — Thousands of small steps building towards larger goals and dreams — Albums and a single — Further along on the path — The books of short stories and poems — Cornerstones — Following natural schedules — Pierre Estève: “Time is on our side.” — Faith in time — Drifting and talking — Beach all to myself for swimming — Water the perfect temperature — PayPal donations possible via my site — Calling millionaires and billionaires — Everything helps — The bottom line of how much one can do in a lifetime — Updating my site — New functionality — Picture of all my works so far — Always up to date — More sheet music — Interpretations always different — The way lakes and seas and waves are — No indications of dynamics — Tales from the North, Book I — Same for tempi — Apology for not having yet continued the serialised discussion of Andrew Mellor’s The Northern Silence — Peter Falk’s memoirs — Reminder to myself — “Season 5 Closing” (@ 30:06)

  • 5.9 Programmed Addictions, Wasted Life, and Alternatives


    5.9 Programmed Addictions, Wasted Life, and Alternatives


    “Season 5 Opening” (@ 0:11) — Programming of people — Behaviour patterns — Part of the control group — TV, films, games, stories in every medium — More and more inhuman — Even subhuman — Since 9/11 — Torture — Non-critical depictions — Troubling — Many went along with it — The time torture was made legal — Antarctica — Arctic polar region — No justification ever — No free advertising from me — Crept quickly also into science fiction — Past critical depictions of torture and other types of physical, emotional, mental, and psychological abuse — The belief that we can separate fiction from reality — Media literacy — Stopped following broadcast TV about 20 years ago — Stupid stories — Very easy for the writers — Sexual assaults as motivation in stories — Told from the perpetrator’s point of view — Not the victim’s — Unlike with David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks — Events shown for the horrors they are — Not trivialised — What Alan Moore called “a pornography of violence” — Now common and mainstream in TV series and films — Chemical addiction to this type of content — Leading to withdrawal symptoms — Needing another “hit” — Most of these depictions don’t help people process things — The need was created — Few people born with it — Picking you up again — Friends or something else — Not what we should be doing with our lives — Sad waste of human potential and art and creativity — Long process — Is this really what we are here for? — Is this a good use of our time? — Is this the best we can do? — Is this what we are looking for? — One thing addicts can’t stand — What I am and am not in a position to do — Wouldn’t want a child to grow watching thousands of scenes of torture and rape — Exploitative — Offering nothing to victims of such experiences — Keeping wounds open — Creating and maintaining the addiction — Many forget what beautiful and worthwhile things can be done with art and creativity — People actually pay money to watch rapes and torture — Is this really human? — Can only answer for myself — Everyone free to make their own choices — Tobacco addiction — Scientific facts — Ray Bradbury — The Ray Bradbury Theater — His short stories — How is it possible we often stay away from such beautiful and healthy things? — Time forever lost — The precious gift of being alive — Freedom — “Season 5 Closing” (@ 24:32)

  • 5.8 Early Music Archive, Lou Doillon, and Room to Imagine

    5.8 Early Music Archive, Lou Doillon, and Room to Imagine

    “Season 5 Opening” (@ 0:12) — Heavy heart — Talk it out — Reconsidering last episode — A little knoll — Past discarded recordings — Attempt to have a little fun — Reasoning behind the collage — “I like messes.” — Not letting myself off the hook — Moving on — Possible problem for creators — The best I can — By the time I publish a book — Able to justify everything included and excluded — We could do an experiment — Negative space — Heaviness of heart and spirit — Something very positive — Lou Doillon — French — Discovered her first as an actress in a film — Outshone everyone else — Multitalented artist — Music — Writing, playing, and singing songs — YouTube playlist — How natural she is — Things she doesn’t do — Like seeing and hearing a kindred spirit — Links between these various things — My past music — Final stages for my music album Early Music Archive — My 10th year of making music — 50 tracks on this album — Music from up until about two years ago — Newer music of a different stage — Bandcamp and CD Baby — Music can be a hyperlink — All kinds of moments — Getting fully up to date — Backlog — Reminders of things past — Someone I knew in another lifetime — Past, present, and future mix together — The books of early short stories and poems — Not an excusing label — More on art as a circle — The artist, the creation, someone who experiences the creation, and the circle returning to the artist — That final part of the circle of art — It matters — Motives that don’t apply to me — Motives that do — Meaningful to hear reactions — A common misunderstanding — Theatre example — With an audience or without? — Alan Moore / BBC Maestro videos — My past regarding him — His pieces of advice on writing — Can no longer get into his works — Because he does everything — Not leaving room for the audience or imagination — Paraphrasing — The opposite of what works for me — Too much detail already filled in — No room to imagine — The original Star Trek (1960s) gave just enough detail to spark the imagination — Kirk, Spock, McCoy — Not too much information — No longer part of my mental landscape — At that point, I’m out — Why am I even there? — Both fun parts already done — Fan fiction — I only want to know a certain amount — Portable black-and-white TV — Playing outside — Snow labyrinths — There was still room for imagination — Few props needed — The limited interest of biographical detail — Trademarked names — Simplistic motivations — Life can’t be reduced to single incidents — David Lynch proved with Twin Peaks season 3 that continuing series don’t have to end up giving too much information — Season 2 — Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) — The Double R diner — Ed — Shelly — Already enough — Not making it less than what it was — Knowing when to stop — The value can be in the lack of that more — Agent Cooper — Sheriff Truman — Just enough — Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me — Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (91 min.) — Deleted and extended scenes — Edited by David Lynch himself — Norma’s moment of quiet desperation — No unnecessary explaining — Drawing our own conclusions — “Season 5 Closing” (@ 44:35)

  • 5.7 In Which I Talk Baloney in the First Collage Episode

    5.7 In Which I Talk Baloney in the First Collage Episode

    Veil of darkness — Morning row — Swimming on the beaches — Great privilege — My flashlight — Juice left — Creative activities — TV a lot — Arcane matters — Discussion — Completely against — About seven — Word-for-word perfection wandering off to one side — Come out later — Art is a circle — Talking baloney — At Dawn — Fresh inspiration — You will regret it — Properly continue — Early Music — Ten years — That Dark, Dark Night — Crystallisation — Love — An Iceland Symphony — Let them flow — All the feelings — One plus two — “In the Fog, Deep” — Eight is the number of infinity — Dissatisfied seagull — Dying to write — Be more fluid — How it made you feel — The sun has risen — Waterfall — Thunderstorm — Follow a story — Let yourself — Gentle moment — Absolute disaster — Needing to continue — Trying to backpedal but sliding forward — An oldfashioned fruit machine — This is a dance — From November 2022 to May or June 2023 — Cordial invitation — Nauseous — The full range of human emotions — Arm numb — For nothing — Bring some light and some beautiful darkness — What always is very meaningful