Author: tio

A human who's furious and curious. Working on tromsite.com, videoneat.com, tromjaro.com, trade-free.org, tiotrom.com, tromland.org, musikwave.com.
Am I using your emotions to make you donate to me?

Am I using your emotions to make you donate to me?

In my last blog post I was writing about how bad I felt about my personal situation. How broke I am and that I haven’t been like that in years (since 2013). I also hinted about “killing myself”, although was not literally, just to emphasize that I felt like falling into a deep black hole. The post was my way of expressing my anger, and I’ve been doing this since 2006. Actually my blog was what helped me not literally kill myself in high school when I was so depressed, because I was able to let my anger out by writing about it publicly. So, my blog is my personal space where I write about whatever I want, whenever I want. And it helps me. So anyways, I published this blog and two very contradictory responses took place.

First was a massive donation from Taras, of 2.000 Euros, that helps us enormously. I can now be relaxed for the next few months and work on TROM II. He also sent this message: “Thank you for your amazing work. Don’t give up!”. I also got this kind of message from another friend:

I have collapsed psychologically reading Tio’s thoughts and all these problems. I feel you both, all this fucked situation…i have learned awesome things from you both and have helped on so many…i wish could have more shit-money to do my best but i can’t… I have spent more than 43 years of my life working for this fucked trade system and need 6 more months to retire and still can’t help you financially. Please guys…DON’T GIVE UP…stay together…the more important in such hard times is to have each other. I really feel my words are so…useless… But DON’T GIVE UP!! We need to become “friends” with the “Beast”, with the horror that it instills…to live “within it without it”… I believe there are always ways…just think about it. Thank you both for all your awesome work. i’m very glad to hear your determination and the passion to keep going that hard but so valuable “road”. Always the few but pioneers were helping this society to move forward. I wish sometime in the future your choices to guide you for a visit in Greece. Would be so nice to meet each other. Please give my best regards and my sympathy to Tio.

They power me a lot to keep on doing what I’m doing, but also make me sad that I make them sad and put a burden on them. I always struggled with that: when a few people donate money, then I am in a very shitty situation and make a blog post about it, the same people (at times new ones) donate a huge ton of money….I feel like not wanting to say I am broke because I make others sad and maybe I make them feel “obliged” to help financially.

So anyways, this is the second reaction on a Facebook post about the blog (someone told me about it since I don’t dare to go on fb anymore because it is such a shithole):

Jizuz dude! One thing is for certain it is hard to support a hypocrite. You say “i tio am good guy because i am trade free” then you say “they bad because they sell you stuff” then you say “hope sasha sells a billion books”. Hahahaha. This is painful to read. Not cuz i pity you because it is like i have to trade my comfort to gain access to trom goods. Like we have to hear you cry and cry about being broke in order to get your “tradefree” services. Bro everyone is in the same boat. Most are struggling financially emotionally mentally and we dont have mommy n daddy to help us and we dont have a following who donate. So save ur self pity tears. If you love the work and are good at it and want to help others than do it and be humble and stop using this as income. This kind of story you write (you wrote many MANY times before) is so annoying when there are actual people suffering and starving in this world. Also u say “i tio watch thousands of docos and write long childish stories about complex subjects and make some stuffs so i shouldnt have to work but you all are not as curious as i so u go to work and give your earnings to me…!!! Whah, whah, whah, yah yah yah…”

To which I replied:

Suzzie Cutter I do not use FB but someone told me about your comment so I had to reply when I saw the nonsense, because you are confused. I never sold anything TROM related and never will. Except a TROM USB card in 2012 where I didn’t put any profit on it and it was for like 1 month to make it more available for people. So keep that in mind.

Second, Sasha will provide her book (not a TROM material) for free online (trade free that is), but the hard copy will always cost money unless we print the books ourselves and pay to send to people, which is ridiculous. So she will be forced to sell the hard print anyways. Sure, she can put a 0 profit, but then us being financially fucked she won’t do that. Maybe it will end up helping us so we won’t ask for donations for TROM again. Yes, people selling stuff is “bad”, but also I fully understand some have no choice. I always talk about how this environment makes people the way they are, and never accuse people themselves. Not even the billionaires.

You can project whatever you want about me (Tio), that I “complain” and such, but I am just telling people how the situation is exactly, so they understand it. Because if I go fully broke, then I cannot even pay for TROM. My mommy and my daddy 🙂 are helping us now, is true, and that’s something I would do for my kids too, sorry you have no mommy or daddy or a “following”, but maybe if you do what I do at TROM, you can have the latter.

You take my complaint, a personal blog post, as if I came to your door and started to cry and asked you for help. People have shitty lives, and some have websites where they complain about them. And you read these stories it seems, and then you get annoyed by them. For sure there are people starving and having cancer and all that. This is not an excuse for ignoring situations like mine, or not “complaining” about my shitty situation just because there is a kid now in Africa dying of starvation. If anything, I am one of those who screams about that kid in Africa, and a lot of other problems.

As for your last paragraph…the childish part is you in this story. You got nothing from that blog post or from the work we do at TROM. If you didn’t get it, my point was that if anyone wants to be curious about this society and this world, the problems, the solutions there are, then they can’t even do that and take it seriously, because they are forced to work. It is not about me, it is about everyone including yourself. You missed that entirely.What is your motivation to moan here on a random fb post about this personal problem of mine? Nothing relevant to do to maybe, so that in the future get financial support for? Is fb too easy for everyone nowadays to comment and think that they are doing anything? At least next time comment on my blog post not on a fb automated page that no one is managing.

Then Suzzie continued:

Do you have food to eat? Yes. Do you have a bed to sleep in? Yes.Do you have ability to go to doctors? Yes.Are you disabled? No.Are you at risk of loosing any of these things? No.Do you have a safe clean environment to live in? Yes.So why so dramatic? Why play on peoples emotions to get donations? You mention starving kids in africa at times but most of your complaints are about your life and how “bad” you have it and how money “helps” you not be stressed.

People fall for this bc they know the world sucks and think by donating to you they make a difference but thats a scam. I say hypocrite bc you say “dont donate to others bc they sell materials if the publish a book” then say “but its ok if we do it” an bc you use sad pity stories to get donations. Just make the content or not. Dont make people feel sorry for you and give you money then preach about “trade free blah blah”

Is like “hey who wants dinner?” “ i will feed you without any conditions” then the people eat and its “but i cooked for you” “i washed the dishes” “i cut the ingredients” and so on. “I need money bc all of that cost me time and effort” and “now im so stressed and want to kill myself bc i gave no money for myself bc i cooked for you all” now all the people who ate the food feel guilty and “donate” to you for the “free dinner”

And my last reply to that:

Suzzie Cutter you really want to drag me into a facebook conversation aren’t you? The best of the internet…. If you want to discuss in length and are really interested in a discussion and not trolling, feel free to comment on my blog post.

To reply to your nonsense

:”Do you have food to eat?” I had only for next 3 months. Would my family let me go hungry after these 3 months? For sure, no. But it would put all of us in a very shitty situation with a lot of stress. Food + Stress is not something I want for any of us. They work in the cleaning industry here where we live, is not like they are rich at all. They stay with rent too and are underpaid and have illegal contracts basically. I do not want to become a burden for them.

“Do you have a bed to sleep in?” – Only because my family can provide one for now. But they too need to move away from here very soon, so then what do I do?”Do you have ability to go to doctors?” Fortunately yes. Here in Spain I do. As long as I can stay here in Spain .”Are you disabled?” Not as far as I know. Are you? “Are you at risk of loosing any of these things?” Yes “Do you have a safe clean environment to live in?” No.

“So why so dramatic? Why play on peoples emotions to get donations?” It is only dramatic because you make it as such. I simply explained my shitty personal situation on my personal blog and shared it here because I am the main one keeping TROM alive, so if I am broke, TROM will also have to suffer. We need to pay for server, for a very good internet connection, hardware for backups, etc.. You just decided to comment on a situation you know nothing about. I guess that’s facebook overall so I am not surprised.I never asked anyone for money in my life. How many people can say that? I only have open donations for whoever can and want to donate. But I never knock on anyone’s door to ask for money. Actually I had to do the opposite with people like Aaron and Roma who donated so much money. I had to tell them to stop and that I will refund their money if they ever donate, since they have to take care of themselves.

“People fall for this bc they know the world sucks and think by donating to you they make a difference but thats a scam. ” – What is the scam here? When anyone donates I keep doing what I promised to do: TROM. As simple as that. I don’t promise anything else. I give no perks and no special treatment.

“””I say hypocrite bc you say “dont donate to others bc they sell materials if the publish a book” then say “but its ok if we do it” an bc you use sad pity stories to get donations.””” You friend are so confused is no wonder I found about you on fb… I never said to anyone to donate or not to anyone. And we sell no books. Are you really that confused?

It’s like I make food and give it for free to anyone, publicly. Come and eat, I ask you nothing. I don’t even have a sign to donate in your face. It is up to anyone to donate. Like Wikipedia. And if I am in a very bad financial situation that doesn’t allow me to continue to make free food for everyone, I’ll say that publicly and not come to your door Suzzie and ask for donations. And if anyone helps, ok. If not, ok. I keep on doing what I can.Funny how in your mind is “too much” for me to complain about my shitty personal financial situation that affects the entire TROM project, but not too much for you to complain about my complaint, in every donation-related post. Can you see the hypocrisy there?

Suzzie also started to make all kinds of sarcastic comments on posts where we thank the people who donated. Those were trolling comments so I decided to delete them from facebook because I do not have the time to deal with people who have too much time to troll.

But it is not the first time I’ve heard someone complaining about the fact that I appeal to people’s emotions to get money from them. For the past 10 or so years I’ve heard this 3-4 times. Which is really not much at all, but still it is something I wanted to address because it bothers me to think that I may do that.

I come from an environment where “begging” is a “job”. Romanian people go to England or other tribes to beg in the streets and they make a living out of this. They appeal to people’s emotions in an aggressive way and have a lot of learned tactics to get as much money from you as possible. It is an industry revolving around this. If you see a beggar in UK, it is very likely he/she is not there by themselves, they came there via an “organization” that “hires” them. Hard to believe, right? Here’s one documentary about it.

I also come from a family who got so much in debt it almost destroyed us at one point. All I’ve heard as a kid was: debt, debt, debt. Banks calling my parents to harass them; them crying; them trying to get another loan to pay some debt; asking friends and family for money constantly, and such. Luckily they managed to go to Spain, work like slaves, and pay all of their debt.

On top of this, my friends and people I knew, were scamming the world online with lies and lies, and making tons of money. Romania, and especially the town I am from, is well known worldwide for these scams.

So I hated this environment of scamming and begging and debt and asking people for money. I HATED it! So even when I had 0 money I never asked anyone for anything. Not even my parents. I am one of those kids who never really asked for anything from my parents (except when I was very little probably, like all kids). But I never said: “Mom, can you give me 100 Euros to buy a pair of jeans?”. Never. Because I knew they do not have money. So if they gave me money or stuff, it was their decision. And they did. They always helped.

So I hate when people ask for money because of that environment I grew up in. But I understand many of these people are desperate and need help. I just don’t want to engage in that. I don’t feel like anyone owns me anything or have to take care of me. That’s why I worked on TROM documentary without telling anyone, and only after it was done I had to ask my parents for 50 Euros to buy tromsite.com + hosting. I had no other choice. And I worked on many other projects without asking anyone for anything.

Donations.

But you always ask for donations!!!!

Donations are very different. It is an open door to anyone who wants to help. Instead of knocking on your door to ask for help, I open the door to my house and let anyone come in and help. This too can be abused, I know. In two main ways:

  1. You give perks to those who donate. I’ve seen this many times. But this is not a donation. It is a trade: you give me money, I give you this. Such people are ruining the meaning of donations. So I never ever did this, despite soooo many people trying to convince me to do that. But I want to keep donations as donations. And I want to treat everyone the same.
  2. You are aggressive about it. You are loud about donations, put buttons in people’s faces, make it invasive for everyone. I’ve heard some people complain about Wikipedia that when they ask for donations they add a big banner on every page about that. You can close it, of course, but I’ve seen people hating that. Wikipedia also sends these more personal kind of messages when it comes to donations, saying that they are in a very bad financial situation and urgently need your help. I understand why people get annoyed by these, and I know there are projects out there who use these as tactics to get more money from people. However, I trust Wikipedia and what they are doing, and I trust that they really need that help. I am more put off by this society that makes a project like Wikipedia ask for donations from individuals. Why isn’t this society allowing for such amazing projects to survive and thrive?

    So, I tried to not engaged in these either. But is hard not to. When you are in a very bad financial situation and you are afraid your projects can die if you don’t get financial support, you feel like telling to those who want to listen, about the situation. Like…this is normal… What should I do? Shut’up and silently close several of these projects or not keep them updated? Is that better?

    As for the donate buttons and such, go to any of our projects’ websites and you will see there is nothing intrusive there. No popups or anything like that, despite (again) so many suggesting to us to be more “in your face” with the donation buttons to get more support. But I do not want that. I do not want to bother people. And when I post about needing financial support on social networks, that’s 1 post out of hundreds of others that have nothing to do with “donations”. Look at what we post on our social network.

All in all, I hate asking for money or complaining about my personal financial situation. If I were to make a blog post every time I feel down and I am in a financial collapse mode, I would have made one every other week. But I resist that as much as possible. People around me know that I avoided a few times to say anything simply because I know a few friends would see that and feel “forced” in a way to send me some money, and I HATE this so much I want to eject myself out of this planet. But in the end since I know I do not do these things with any intention other than describing a bad personal situation, then why should I care? Should I be like “Poor people who see my complaint and be sad about it…or pissed off….I feel so bad about them”!? I mean that’s ridiculous. I am in a bad situation and then I should feel bad writing about it on my personal blog and share it at times on TROM’s social networks!? How dare I to upset a few with my personal problems!? :))

I can’t be like that. So if I am in a bad financial situation I’ll say that and I expect nothing from anyone. I never plan that I will write a blog post and get some donations because of by “dramatic” story. I’ve made so many honest projects so far, do you think I am like a charlatan trying to appeal to people’s emotions to donate me money!? I would not want to live around people who do such things. And even if I were to do that, then the result is still a help for TROM and a continuation of this project, so why should you care? If I say TROM needs money to keep on TROMing, and you decide to donate money and TROM keeps on TROMing, why is it important how I asked for money, or if I spent it on prostitutes or whatever!?

Anyways, I wanted to quickly rant about this a bit, since it is crazy to me how people invent their own stories about others and convince themselves of them. If Suzzie thinks that I intentionally appeal to people’s emotions to get donations for TROM, then in the worst case scenario I fight to keep TROM alive and relevant. But I’ll never do this. I am actually the exact opposite of this and if I am to be so broke that I end up on the streets, even then I don’t think I’ll go to Suzzie’s door, or anyone’s door, to ask for help. But if anyone wants to help, I’ll put a sing there somewhere that they can help if they want. 😉

My life revolves around TROM and its baby projects. I love them so much they keep me awake at night. We live in a world of charlatans and scammers, so I want these projects and myself to be a counter-example to this shithole. But for that I need a small army of people who can help TROM. And one of the help methods is to donate money since there is no other way I know right now, to keep me afloat in this ocean of trades to keep on working on these projects. If I had money I would donate to other projects too. And if I will ever have enough for me and Sasha, I would give the rest to similar projects. Mark my word.

I hate drama and emotional situations. I do not cry or scream. So whenever I’ll complain about my personal financial situation, it is more of a peer-reviewed paper of my situation than anything else. You have to take care of your emotions and not let yourself to sadden by my blog posts. And if you do, remember is not like I wanted that. And for sure, is not my intention to make you sad in order for you to donate money to me. If I had such values I wouldn’t have made all of the projects I made so far. These two attitudes are incompatible.

Broke.

Broke.

This blog post will not have any images. I like adding images, but I feel like I only need words right now ;).

I and Sasha have 900 Euros in total. That’s it. Hopefully we will get back some money from the apartment deposit, but probably it will be around 100 Euros after paying the remaining bills. Perhaps I can get 100 or so Euros from Patreon too. But yah, I can finally say I am broke. I threatened everyone about that for a few years now, haha, and now it finally happened.

I write from the same house where I made the second version of TROM documentary back in 2012. And from the same room where I built TVP Magazine, VideoNeat, and a few other projects. We made the room neat, as much as we could. I took my hand-made desk from the other place, and my galaxies. I printed 8 A4 pages with some of the most iconic space-stuff, back in 2012 when TVP donated me a printer to print a non-disclosure document…yah. Well. Retarded, but thank you for the printer. I have no clue why people still use printers… So back in 2012 (wondering about the same thing), I used all of the ink to print these amazing space-stuff-things. Some of the first exoplanets ever captured on camera, the farthest galaxy ever photographed (that was back in 2012 but still fuck-amazing): our sun, a few other galaxies and clusters, and the cosmic microwave background. I framed them into one mega frame, and hanged them on the wall behind my monitor so I can face it anytime and remind myself of my story – the one of a human being. To diffuse all of the human-invented problems that could cause me a lot of scars. Money problems mainly, and some stupid societal issues here and there, that condiment the shitty life of a citizen.

So here I am, same place, same stuff. Let me remind myself:

From 2007 or so I kept on writing on my romanian blog about all kinds of important subjects: from religion to money, abundance to technology, mysteries to science. I loved to let my brain explore the world through this digital vessel. There was no Facebook or any such centralized place online – it was a wild wild west kinda. You went there and didn’t know where there was, what was there, how to even reach somewhere. So you went about and around, searching and poking all kinds of websites. It was fun. Today it is all about 5 or so websites (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok and the like). A managed online life, by ads companies. It is the difference between my childhood and today’s childhood. Back in my days, all kids were going out. No phones, nothing like that. We interacted with each other, climbed trees, made tree houses, played football or any other game, laughed, ran, biked, it was an endless stream of adventures. Some newer than others. Today, from what I can tell, everything is organized: here is the park for children, here is a gym for adults, a cafeteria for the rest. Kids go for lessons: guitar lessons, football lessons, tennis lessons, ….. Not such thing in my childhood years. We played and had fun. The Internet today is like the childhood of today: a few places, all organized, all tasteless. No adventure, no fun.

So yah, from 2007 on I was poking around the Internet having fun, and writing a lot about the world. I was broke as fuck. Had 0 money. Dependent on my family? I was. Then made TROM documentary, still broke. And remade it; still broke. Then collaborated with TVP and created their online magazine for like 8 months – still broke. I was lucky as fuck when we made a TVP Magazine Indiegogo campaign and we raised over 20.000 Euros. That’s insane that I think about it. It was make or break for me. If we didn’t raise the entire amount, all money would have been returned. I did it this way because I was desperate. I was dragged into a very unpleasant situation living with my family for the past years, mooching on their resources. They were also putting a pressure on me to “do something” – and by that they meant, to have a job; and by that they meant to make some money. So I was like: either I raise all the money and give myself 1 year trial (1k Euros a month for a year), or idk….I’ll just go out and walk until I cannot walk anymore. That’s how I felt. Just go out, walk and walk and walk on this planet until I collapse and I can’t walk anymore. What can I do!?

Side-note: the money for TVP Magazine was for me and Ray who proofread and reviewed all issues, that’s why it was just enough for myself to live for one year with 1k Euros a month.

Ok. So.

2013, the magic year. I finally made it. Had a good ‘salary’ for at least 1 year. Go Tio! Go! And I went! From 2013 to 2016 I managed to get financial support enough to have a good life. I was paying for my own shit. No more dependence on my family. Damn it felt so good. All of that stress was out of the window. From 2014 to 2016 I even managed to live in my own apartment (rented of course), and it felt so cozy and relaxing. I was working like nuts for TVP Magazine and we released one big issue every month. I kept my promise.

Then it declined.

From 2016 on, the donations went down and down. It coincided with me and TVP splitting apart and the discontinuation of the TVP Magazine. But somehow I still had enough to pay for my own shit. In 2016 I moved back with my parents because I was making less than I could afford to live on my own. But since I could still contribute financially to the house’s spendings, I was all fine. I was getting less and less financial support to the point of making it difficult to even contribute to those spendings. But at least I had some money to do so.

Then it was better, but it still declined.

In 2019 we had that TROM meeting and a bunch of people came here to meet me, and meet with each other. We ended up moving together (Me, Sasha, and Aaron). Together we could pay for a nice apartment in the same town. It was fun, relaxing, great. Aaron left after one year, but he kept on supporting me and Sasha like crazy. Honestly the guy is too nice to exist in this society. But me and Sasha were unable to keep ourselves afloat.

Rent: 450 Euros. Electricity over 100. Water + Waste, 30. Internet 75. Servers 50. That’s some 700+ Euros on bills. Then we have to eat. We managed to eat with around 250 Euros a month, which I consider reasonable. We don’t buy much, and nothing fancy. Of course no eating out – that’s stupid, wasteful, super expensive, and stressful. We make some really great pizzas at home for like 5 times less the costs. 1k Euros for 2 people to live in Spain is super low. It’s way bellow the poverty line. But we don’t have a car or other such things – we have no debt and no consumerist values. We just need our basic needs: a comfy shelter with a basic cooking facility, toilet, bed and all that. Basic. An internet connection and hot water. And we can buy some fruits, vegetables, and some meet for myself 😀 (sorry), and that’s all. But it was a very shaky situation. We were sure we will go broke last year, but Roma, Aaron, Shas, and some other close TROM friends saved our asses with big donations.

We knew it was over.

We can’t have several Aarons or Romas or Sebs or Shass or others who helped so much, working their asses off, slaving themselves, to then donate thousands of euros to us. This is insane and unsustainable. So I told Aaron and others to fuck-off 😀 and not donate anymore. Keep the money for themselves. They need that to survive and TROM also needs them. And Aaron is insane-kind and sacrificed his life I’d say, to pull us out of misery lately. He should stop doing that and take care of himself and if possible keep on TROMing because he is so amazing at what he is doing for TROM.

US saved us for a few months. Funny enough. US sent some “stimulus” money because of this COVID situation, to its tribe members, and since Sasha is one of them, we got some 2k Euros from them. It allowed us to prolong the suffering haha.

We. Are. Busy. With. Relevant. Stuff.

You see, both I and Sasha work on some long projects that suck all of our time. Sasha is writing a book about her life that is also tied with these TROM things we talk about – from what I’ve read so far here and there, the book will be super awesome. It may have the potential to reach many new minds. She traveled around the world for the past 13+ years and her stories and what she learned from all of this, coalesce into a great and awesome pie of information. So she needs a lot of time to write it, to compile all of those years and more (she also writes about her childhood). And then is I. I work on a second part of TROM documentary. Like a 10 year celebration. At least that’s what I tried to do. I made a campaign to see if I can get enough support to work on it for the entire 2021, but I only raised some 30% and that’ mainly because of Aaron’s and Roma’s donations….

So yah, both I and Sasha were busy as fuck with these things, not to mention that I am also managing a lot of other projects and in the meantime I released a new one that requires a lot of my attention.

I never stopped working.

If you could look at the donations that TROM received since 2013 to now, they go up till 2016, then go down and down and down, sharply. Right now I may get around 100-200 Euros (maybe) overall, a month. Which is barely enough to buy some food. But if you look for the same period of time at my work and even other people’s work (involvement) for TROM, you will see a rise. A continuous rise. Podcasts, new books, new videos, new amazing tools….all that had no correlations to the support we were getting.

Anyways.

Bottom line is, I am here now, broke. Finally. My nightmare came true. I always feared this will happen and it is here. What am I gonna do now? I have no idea. I cannot see myself having a job. I simply cannot. I put so much effort into TROM and had so many plans….to make the TROM II documentary, to write several amazing and important books about the human behavior, about what science is, about technology and more. To create more trade-free tools….To…

So if I am forced to have a job to make money, it would mean to cut 90% of my work on TROM and by that I also mean to cut 90% of my brain. And I will end up either killing myself or killing someone else at my work place since I am 100% sure you’ll get enslaved in any job out there. I know how to make super detailed books about complex subjects, I know how to make podcasts, I know how to make videos and documentaries, I know how to make a plethora of projects and manage them, I know how to maintain a Linux distribution….I know how to make websites that are (I think) unique and interesting. I know a bunch of things and I do a lot. But I do not know how to make money since I was never interested in that. And that means, I do not know how to survive in this society unfortunately for my own sake. What would have happened if my family or the few people who have donated so far, didn’t exist? I perhaps would have decided to either steal money to support my work (which is ironic thinking about what TROM is), or killed myself. I know this sounds too dramatic, but I’ve always had that in my head: you can always choose not to play this stupid game anymore, by ending your own life. That’s the only escape it seems. Think about how harsh this sounds, and how true it is.

Keep this in mind:

I, a human being on this planet, am super curious how this society works, where are the problems coming from, what are the solutions to these. I am also super curious about how the world works: humans, atoms, whales, computers, and so forth. And I spent 15+ years trying to educate myself about these, and to inform others about them. But I could only do this because a few people helped me stay afloat in this society. Else, I had 0 chances. The society helps you not at all to be an informed human being. It only wants you to work work work. Mostly mindless jobs. Now I am broke so normally I will have to get a job to survive in this society. Like to work in say marketing, sell stuff, be a charlatan and the like. What “good” jobs are out there? Doctors that only “save” people who pay? Mechanics who only repair the broken stuff of those who can afford to fix them? Scientists who are poorly paid and work mostly for for-profit companies, helping them destroy lives and the environment? Honestly, think about it, if I were to say “Ok Tio, we accept a job now! Shut the fuck up and do it!” – then what jobs can I do? Probably some that are pushing this trade based society further. So making things worse in this society.

So:

I am basically forced now to not care about this society and stop be curious, and stop informing others and create educational content and tools, and stop create free services for others. STOP! Stop that, and focus on doing something mindless that in turn creates more waste and slavery.

Am I insane, or the rest of the world!?

Even I get this guilt feeling from time to time when I see myself so moneyless – as if I am not worth anything in this society. I am a lazy, not deserving to live, human being. One that does nothing! But then I look at the stuff I’ve been doing and the stuff I am doing, and the stuff I want to do. And it is a TON. There are people who “make it” in this world by doing just one of the things I am doing, like say a podcast, or write books, or provide services to others like trom.tf does…. The difference between them and myself, is that myself says “All that I do is free for everyone”, and them say “All that we do is not free, so pay you fucking cunt!”. Who is the good human being here!? manyfacepalms.

Should I still play this game?

This is a serious question. It is always going to be a struggle to keep myself afloat while trying to focus on this TROM project. In other words: to keep myself a human being who does important (in my view) projects, I would have to put up with this fucked up trade society till the day I’ll get old and die, to trade myself somehow to it, to keep myself a human. But that trade is going to destroy me. So what should I do? I don’t know. There is one hope and one comforting thought.

The hope:

Sasha. Sasha always found ways to trade herself in this society in a way that maximizes your time as a human on this planet. Trade a little, to be able to free yourself from this shithole. She may come up with a plan about how we can make it in this society. At least I am not alone now. I fight with Sasha and she fights with me. We also have a little hope in the book she will publish, to both attract new minds towards projects like TROM (and who knows, maybe new financial help), but she will also sell the hard copy of the book (the digital will be free), and what if we get lucky and it sells very well and we can support ourselves out of that? This is like the lottery, at least I can dream about that haha. The book is important as it is, and if it sells is not important. But of course, would be fantastic if that would pull us out of this misery. So lets see….with Sasha by my side I feel less concerned about making it in this society.

The thought:

In a weird way, but understandable, my fucked up situation makes me more relaxed at times since it is the perfect proof that this society is the way I have described it. I need no statistics, documentaries or documents, group of scientists or whatever to prove to me that this society is 100% fucked up. Like seriously retarded. The fact that I, Tio the human, who decides to dedicate its life to understand how this society and the world work, and how to fix them, and inform others about all of this, and publish lots of content for free and create lots of other free services, the fact that this Tio human, I, cannot even survive in this society by doing these….it is 100% proof to me that we live in the most fucked up society. And it is funny that so many scream how climate change is fucking us over, corruption destroys our ways of governing, plastic is chocking the planet, destruction, slavery, bla bla bla. Yet the same people support a system that creates mindless humans who have 0 time trying to understand these problems and -0 to do anything about them.

How the fuck can we change any fucking thing in this society if people like me get so raped by this society that it makes it impossible to give a fuck about it in the end.

So perhaps the fact that my life is a living proof to me that this society is indeed as fucked up as I describe it, makes me want to fight it even more. To give it the middle finger and survive despite all the shit it throws at me, and continue (despite the odds) to create awesome and important trade-free stuff: books, services, videos, podcasts, documentaries, and so forth. I also understand why projects like TROM get so little attention, because I can see what gets attention: retarded content. If TROM was popular (and thus more financial support), then I would be concerned….is TROM also retarded!? 😀

Fuck.You.Society.

Last thoughts:

My family is forced to trade in this society, like 3-4 billion other humans who are employed slaves. They are entangled with their jobs and I understand that. If I refuse to trade but stay in their house and cannot contribute to the trades (bills and stuff) it will put them in a very uncomfortable situation and it will create tensions between us. That’s for sure and I’ve experienced that before. I totally understand that. And I do not know what to do about it. So if they want to throw me into the streets, I’ll go and live there, but I will not have a job because that’s a literal death trap to me. They are very helpful and for sure they’ll never do that, but there will be tensions, and we will get stressed. In the end, is the society who fucks all of us in the ass, and we end up screaming at each other. But is little for any of us to do. What can my family do? Say “Yeah is the society’s fault for the situation!”, and then go next morning to their job, trade their time and energy, and through that support me who doesn’t trade!?

Anyways.

I do not have answers right now about what I am going to do. I have many questions tho. We have money for food for like 3 or so months. I will try to go work with my family in cleaning in weekends if they need my help, since that’s the only form of a job I perhaps could do – to do something physical, like cleaning houses, for 2 or so days a week. But even that is perhaps not available for me since there is a scarcity of jobs here.

I will try to not let this society crush me, but I am telling you it is hard. I feel very sad and angry at all of this.

I do not want to become a burden for my family.
But I did not ask to be born in a fucked up society.

UPDATE: I received a 2.000 Euros donation a day after this blog post. This saves our asses for the next few months. I cannot believe… Thank you Tara so much! I do not know you, but donating so much money is simply crazy. Thank you again!

Yellow is not a special color

Yellow is not a special color

For some reason I thought that yellow is a special color. For years now I’ve heard how yellow is made up of green and red, so it is not its own wavelength. I learned that we have 3 main special light receptors in our eyes that can pick up some specific frequencies, and we interpret one as red, one as blue, and one as green. And the other colors are a combination between these.

But I kept on seeing videos and read about how yellow is weird cause green light and some red light stimulate 2 of these receptors (cells) in our eye and it creates “yellow”. And I started to pedal this notion and be amazed by it.
 
I was like “Woah we can’t really see yellow…like we see other colors…because yellow is a combo between 2 colors and it is a trick to our mind because of our eyes.”.
Later on writing for the TROM Language book, I wanted to mention this as an example of how we put words on stuff that may not even be there. And while doing my research for the book, I learned that there is in fact a wavelength for yellow but it is also true that the combo of green and red produces the same effect in our brain. I was again amazed. I was like, then what is “yellow” if it is produced by two seemingly different events?

I was not really wrong (I think) – but I missed some very important points. So yah, I was excited how we can’t really see yellow because we don’t have a specialized receptor for that wavelength, and how mind blowing it is that our screens are made up of just 3 colors and how they simulate yellow. I am still amazed by this. When I did this interview, Alex asked me what is my favorite color, and I said “yellow because we can’t really see it”.

Well ok.
 

Last night Sasha was asking me about this…and we ended up debating for like 5 hours about light, colors, and especially “yellow”. We watched videos and took a snack break :)). Till almost 5 in the morning. Long story short, I was very very wrong, so much so I am disappointed in my brain. Deeply.

I was yellow-blind. But not to the color, to the facts and the interpretation of them. Of bloody course that yellow is not special…the monitor creates all of the colors we see out of Red, Green and Blue because they are the same as yellow. DUH! All colors have either a particular wavelength or they are formed by different wavelengths hitting our eyes and we combine these and see that particular color. In a sense, orange is the same: triggered by either a particular wavelength hitting our eyes hitting some of the 3 main receptors we have, or a few wavelengths that do the same….the output is orange.

I can’t believe I was so blind to this simple fact. Yes, light is such a complex thing to understand, but lets be honest my brain failed. I defended my position for hours, not because I am stubborn I hope, but because that’s what I thought even after Sasha was trying to explain this simple thing. It was too ingrained in myself this idea with “yellow”. I was kinda sure I saw this in the so many documentaries I’ve watched over the past 10+ years. But re-watching some of the videos about “yellow” after I realized I was in the wrong, I spotted some things I didn’t see before…how these people briefly (some less than 1s) mentioned (many in text form) that is the same story with other colors. They simply chose yellow as an example because yellow is cool…idk…

I was surprised at my stupidity to be honest. I could not even sleep much thinking how in the world I got fooled for years. Then I remember that for many many years, even in my 20s, I thought that another yellow thing is where it didn’t suppose to be. I honestly thought that urine was stored in the ballsack. Yah…Because I didn’t think much about it and when I felt the urge to pee I was feeling that urge in that area. I know this really sounds retarded, but when I was in school I also thought that there is God who created everything and I was praying to that creature.

The mind is the most powerful and sensitive organ we have. We can uncover unbelievable things and understand complex patterns, and yet we can be so easily fooled and tricked, it is astonishing. I am thinking now at the many who believe that the Earth is flat, Bill Gates wants to microcip us with vaccines, or that there is an “agenda” out there made by the most powerful people in order to keep us “in line”. Probably these people are wrong, but probably they also can’t see the “yellow” for its true value. But what if we, on the other side are wrong and don’t see what they do!? In the end it comes down to science. We need to investigate the world using the scientific method. But, at times it looks impossible. When it comes to yellow we can measure the wavelengths, we can look at the eye, we can do experiments. When it comes to some world-wide conspiracy we are left with trusting whatever others tell us. How can I truly know if there is an “agenda” out there made up of some dudes that call themselves as “illuminati”? I don’t think we can probe that the same way we probe light. We can say it is very unlikely. And I am fine with that.

We need to remain humble and understand that our brains are limited and we live in a world that is full of infocrap. Explosions of information from all parts, mostly due to our trade-based society that incentivizes people to post post post. I curate my news and videos from sources that seem to be known world wide for their seriosity; I watch so many documentaries especially about science/nature; and yet I got so fooled by this seemingly simple thing. I feel a deep betrayal of my brain. I fed it good stuff (I think) and yet it failed so badly.

I wonder what are the other “yellows” in my brain that I do not understand….

But if I keep on listening to others, to criticisms, to suggestions, then it is a good chance of me correcting my failed brain. I need to force myself to be a lot more humble and park my car in a way that I can get it out of that parking lot if needed, and move it somewhere else.

Like this! Slowly and wisely.

Never like this!

Else I will end up unable to take my car (my mind) out of that spot and will get stuck like that.

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

I introduced you to the Fediverse in a previous post, and how cool that is. Basically it allows different platforms (websites) to communicate with each other. Something like a Twitter user being able to follow a Facebook or Youtube users, and vice-versa. Not only that, but comment/reshare and overall interact with the other users. Imagine a Twitter user following a Facebook user, and seeing their posts on their Twitter newsfeed and being able to comment, like, or reshare it. And the Facebook user to receive all of that feedback. The Twitter user comments on the Facebook post via the Twitter newsfeed, and the Facebook user sees the comment on the Facebook platform. So they can communicate with each other. That’s  extremely important for a saner and more robust internet.

Of course, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the like won’t give a fuck about such a thing. But lots of people have built alternatives to these platforms that do just that. Ok, you get it, I explained it in the post I linked above. So let’s move on.

These Federated platforms are in many shapes and forms, built in different ways. So, you choose it. But WordPress is perhaps the most well know platform that people use to build websites. And it is so easy to set up a WordPress website and manage it. It is click and install. And then you have access to a fuck ton of plugins to make the website as you want. For example all of our projects, except tromland.org and musikwave.com, are built with WordPress. meaning, this website, tromjaro.com, videoneat.com, trade-free.org and the directory, ourminds.online, tromsite.com. They look in a diferent way and they even serve different purposes.

 

My website is more of a blog, but I also have video and photo galleries. Tromsite.com is more of content-driven website with books, videos, documentaries, curated news and such. You can’t comment there, you mainly see what we create. VideoNeat is specifically designed to be a sort of encyclopedia of hand-curated documentaries/lectures/movies that are scientific. While tromjaro.com is a website designed for an Operating System from where you can even install apps on your TROMjaro OS.

You get it, WordPress (WP) is a powerful tool to create any kind of website that you want, with 0 coding knowledge.

So then, wouldn’t it be cool if WP would become federated and communicate with all of those platforms? All of those social networks? Well, it can. And it is easy as flies.

ActivityPub is one of the “backbone” of the Fediverse. There are many such out there, but this one is new, shinny, and used by most of the well known platforms. Thanks to the plugin ActivityPub, WP transforms from a slow moving caterpillar that stays on one leaf, in one tree, into a butterfly that jumps from tree to tree. If you have a WP website, install that and I’ll give you a few tips of what to do after.

But first.

What this is doing is opening the doors for WP to talk to the other platforms. Basically, your post and pages (and more if you have custom stuff) can be sent to others on the Fediverse as posts. So imagine this: I have a Frriendica profile (sort of a Facebook profile, but sane and better). And then I follow tiotrom.com (this website) by adding the Federated ID. Whenever there is a new post on tiotrom.com I will see that in my Friendica newsfeed just like any other post from anyone that I follow there. That’s great, But what’s better is that I can even drop a comment on that post from Friendica, and the comment will go to the WP post itself. It should also work for me, the one behind tiotrom.com, to reply via my WP site to this comment and for the comment to go back to Friendica. Right now this doesn’t work but they are working on it, to make it possible. In other words, anyone from the Fediverse can follow my blog via their platforms (Friendica, Mastodon, etc.) and of they like/comment on any of my WP posts, I can see that, and in the near future even reply to them and they can see the replies, so we can communicate with each other.

Another feature of the Fediverse is to send private messages. They are also working to integrate that with WP so that anyone from the Fediverse ca send you a private message and you’ll get it in your WP dashboard or perhaps directly to your email that you have for your WP install.

And so, this is what the Federated WP is doing: allowing your WP website to be followed by anyone on the Fediverse (granted their platforms use ActivityPub), and to comment/interact with your WP posts.

HOW TO MAKE IT NOICE

1. Install ActivityPub and set it up.

Simply install and activate. The go to Settings – ActivityPub. The first settings is to set up how you want your post to be displayed in people’s feeds. I chose Custom for my website since I wanted to tweak it a bit, such as to write “NEW BLOG POST” and make that bold, to add the excerpt and encourage people to read it fully on my website (since it may not format well on some Federated platforms) and such. This is easy, see my example. If you don’t want to bother with that, simply select one of the predefined options.

And bellow it, select the type of Activity-Object. I left it Note since it seems to be the recommended one. The last settings are about what you want to broadcast on the Fediverse. I chose only the posts. But you can even broadcast when you upload images and such. Which is cool.

And lastly, for the young generation of hashes, you can enable the tags :). So your post tags transform into hashtags for the cool kids to click on them. You can block domains from following you as well. But why do you want that!?

2. Tweak your profile.

Your WP user acts as the profile of your Federated WP. So go to Users – Profile. Add your Bio and all of those goodies if you want, so that they appear in your Federated profile. I recommend installing 2 other plugins: WP User Avatar | User Profile Picture and Username Changer. So that you can change your username if you want to make it prettier, and your profile photo. Like me:

When someone will add you to their Federated network, they’ll see all that. Here’s how it looks on Friendica:

Side note: your federated ID is your profile ID basically. So you can have multiple users, and the content that is federated is, of course, based on what your user posts.

3. Share your Federated “ID”.

In the same WP Profile Settings, at the bottom, you’ll see this:

And that’s your “ID”, or Identifier. Send this to anyone who wants to follow you on the Fediverse. As easy as that.

And you’re done!

On my “follow” page I now provide 3 methods for anyone to keep in touch with whatever I do: Fediverse, RSS, and eMail. That’s super cool. And it is up to you how you want to follow my stuff.

I’ve now done the same for videoneat, tromjaro, and the trade-free directory. TROMsite.com….is used in a different way so it doesn’t make sense to integrate it with the Fediverse. What is posted there is not done via the traditional WP methods…so will see about that in the future. But if you follow the above links, you can follow our projects closely, via the Fediverse, RSS, or eMail. Fediverse is more like: I follow and I interact. RSS is like: I just follow. And eMail is for: I’m lazy so just send me an email when you do something :).

Why is this important after all?

It is true, you can follow our WP websites via RSS on Friendica for example, and all of our work via our main Friendica page, but if you simply want to follow only one of our projects and interact with, then you can do it now. It is also important for people who just want a more complex and customized personal place in the inter-webs, like a WP website, but they want to open the door to the Fediverse. I think that’s great!

It also makes the posts on teh Fediverse look better. Before I was using the RSS to pull posts from videoneat, tromjaro, or the trade-free directory to our TROM Friendica page. Now I use ActivityPub. And they look better:

Pulled from RSS – shows no thumbnail or image. Just a simple plain text.

Pulled directly from ActivityPub WP. Pulls custom text + excerpt + image + link. Much better.

yes.no.yes.no.yes.no. ? !

yes.no.yes.no.yes.no. ? !

For the past several months I have fluctuated between excitement to do this or that, and total lack of any excitement. Happy and motivated, to then being depressed and demotivated. But I like to try and understand myself, so I always use me as the rat I am experimenting on.

I’ve been through such moments all of my life, and I don’t think it is unusual considering the work I’m doing: researching the ugly face of this world, and then (at times) finding the nice face of the world here and there. So my brain is like “Jeez the world sucks balls. Really bad. And is nothing we can do about it. We are doomed”. Then at times is like “Oh look, nice people and projects. How nice. Flowers and bunnies and all of that.”. And these get mixed in my brain at times. On top of that I always had to worry about money…will I have enough for the next months!?

But lately I am a lot more “yes.no.yes.no.yes.no”. Like a bunch of waves in a storm. Why?

At times I get excited about TROM II and discuss with the people around me about it, and ideas of how to make it more interesting and such, to then, in a few days time, to be like “bleah…I don’t like any of these ideas…I don’t want to make TROM II”. And it goes on and on for months, not making much progress with it. Again, why-why? I think I know why.

 

2000-2005
2000-2005

From mind to notebook

This trade-based, zombie-full, and retarded-graded society always stressed me out. But once I started to have a notebook (journal) - pen and paper - I got more relaxed. I could express myself. Write about the idiocracy. Felt good.

2005-2009
2005-2009

From notebook to blog

Then I decided to write digitally.

Back in 2005 or so, when I was starting my romanian blog, it felt like I came across a big pile of fresh air. It was me, my computer, usually late at night, writing about the stuff I wanted to write. I felt like I was alone on a planet, beaming my thoughts to other planets. Not many listeners, not many reactions. But I liked that. Because all I wanted was to say some stuff. That's all. After a few years it became a bit busier and I didn't like it that much. People voicing their opinions to your opinion, in your own home (your website) can become annoying. But hey, there is a lot to learn at times, from this minds from other planets.

My thoughts were no only mine, hidden in an old notebook in my room, they were out there for all to see. I retired my notebook.

2009-2012
2009-2012

From blog to documentary

After a few years I felt like I can express my thoughts better in english and in a video format. I was watching too much EN stuff, but I could not write very well, so it help that I could cut segments from videos and make some content that would mirror my thoughts. Like a DJ, I was remixing stuff. So I made TROM Documentary with videos from other documentaries, lectures or other videos, plus a badly written EN script (from a grammar perspective). I remade TROM with a proofread script a year later. I was happy, but not in the mood anymore to write on my romanian blog. I was leaving that behind. Didn't consider it relevant anymore, same way I stopped writing in my notebook once I started my blog.

I tried however to still write in romanian on that blog, but I realized it is not happening. Almost like being 15 trying to jerk off on 70s playboy magazines. I needed new adventures :)). It's not working!

2013-2018
2013-2018

From documentary to books

Making a 14h documentary was a great way of expressing my thoughts. But now I had even more thoughts. I wanted to do proper research, to source what I was writing about, to move from writing articles to writing books. To do "serious" work. And so I created a lot of books, very detailed, very important. A fuck-ton of work. Writing them, designing them. I got better at writing in EN. But not that great at speaking in EN since I could not practice with anyone. I was behind the screen, typing words. That's me.

In this time I tried to go back on the Memory Lane and make some videos based on the books I wrote. That documentary-lane...I tried a lot. A lot. We recorded, and recorded, and recorded. And we released 2-3 videos, and that's it. I felt again like that 15-year-old jerky. Not working anymore. Doesn't excite me anymore to make videos...I made a huge one, and I put a lot of work into it....now I was in the book-mood.

2018-present
2018-present

From books to in-action

Since 2005 I've been broadcasting my thoughts indirectly. But in 2018'sh I started to meet people who were very aware of my work. Meet them in person. We also started TROM-Cast. Us. Live. Speaking directly to each other, and to the other planets. My spoken EN got a lot better.

Until then I felt like a runner who trains for a competition. Year by year, accumulating knowledge and skills. 2019 was the year I could run. Be out there. Touch the other planets. Broadcast my thoughts directly.

Another important thing happened: my realization of "trade" and how it is a thing that influences everything, and how focusing on that is the best we can do. Understand. Destroy. Also, trade-free. Create trade-free goods/services to both help people in an honest manner, and to also inform people about this trade-monster. And so I created tools like TROMjaro, the Trade Free Directory and the website, and I re-labeled and re-purposed all of the other websites to be trade free: videoneat, my website, other people's websites...our tools were directed towards that vision. I wanted to showcase how we can do some work in this saner direction. No more "just talking", now it was doing. More directly. Yeah, small scale. but still...a lot considering my "powers".

For the past 2 years I loved working on TROMjaro and make it better and better and make a point with it within the open source community. And I got my voice heard a couple of times. I curate hundreds of trade-free apps for it, I added stuff to the trade-free directory, I removed the trackers from most of our websites. I started to get away from online trades as much as possible, as a matter of principle and also because it feels damn good and could inform people about why trade sucks, and trade-free goods/services are a lot better. A LOT.

No more books for me, it was all about doing something. Talking to others, challenging them and their values, be out there into the wild. That started to excite me.

But then I had this idea, partially influenced by the people around me, of making another TROM documentary and explain this new thing I discovered with “trade”. I agreed we need such a material on our website and out there on the webs. TROM documentary is still relevant, but talking about abundance, and scarcity, and rbe, and tvp and the like, doesn’t make sense for me anymore. I evolved past that. I changed my mind about many of those notions. We made a TROM-Cast all about that and it is part of the TROM documentary now, as a “review” of it, at the end of the documentary. But it is not enough. I would like to replace that documentary with a new (updated) one. Although that’s the rationale, and although sometimes I feel super excited about it, it does feel a bit forced…as if I force myself to go back to making videos instead of focusing on the “in action” part of my evolving life. I feel more motivated to invite experts on TROM-Cast and talk about the human behavior or other notions, to invite people from the Open Source communities, volunteers, those who want to change the society, and talk to them. Learn from them. Challenge them.

I think I am ready-enough to go and talk/debate with others about these ideas. I want to go fight now :D. Doing things like books or documentaries is an indirect fight for me. But I still would love to write more books. I want to definitely write a few more. One about science so that I learn what it is in detail, one about human behavior in great detail, one about “shapes” (you’ll see it is a fascinating topic and it affects everything: medicine, tech, behavior, etc.); and a few more. I’d like to write them on my own phase and in the meantime do more work on TROMjaro, Trade-Free Directory and the other tools we have, and definitely TROM-Cast.

I fell like that’s my new “era”, the in-action era. And I am kinda forcing myself to go back again to the “documentary” era. But I’ll give it a shot. We are trying to do a different kind of TROM documentary, more “in-action” with filming me, Sasha and Dima. We already started that so let’s see where it goes.

Thing is, my idea was to raise around 13k Euros for a year of work (1k a month to survive), and all of the 2021 to work on TROM II. I could have done that if I had the money. But since I only have raised around 2k then I had to rethink it completely. It will be a shorter one, but maybe more interesting and personal. More “catchy”.

So yah…let’s see how it goes…

The good part is to see myself evolving and trying new approaches to understand the world and explain it to others.

When I know what I want to do, it is a lot less of “yes.no.yes.no.yes.no.”. But when I try to force myself to do things I may not enjoy doing at that period of time, then I fluctuate a lot. It happened to me when I tried to write again on my romanian blog, when I tried to make videos out of my books, when I have to do this documentary it seems.

In any regard, I also have to enjoy life and the things I am creating, else it is pointless. I’d rather have a normal job and forget about this, if I end up in a pile of stress and regard TROM II or other projects as “work that I HAVE TO DO”.

I am so so happy with the stuff I’ve created so far and I will create more of it, and evolve to new kinds of projects and approaches. The flame of “doing something” is still burning inside my essence. That’s for sure!

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

I wrote this blog recently about what the Fediverse is and why it is so awesome, together with how I created a monster to automate our Friendica TROM page and my personal account to post everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, TROM Live, my Live). Yesterday we had a really great TROMcast with the people behind Friendica and Mastodon, and Disroot.org. And I want to write a brief “beginner guide” to Friendica, because I love Friendica :). And the people behind the project are super friendly.

First of all, make an account to give it a try.

There are many “instances” so you can choose whichever. I personally recommend venera.social. It works great and the guy behind the project seems like a very nice human. Register and wait for approval. I know, it seems like a pain in the ass to wait for approval, but trust me on this. It is going to be a fast approval and they do that so that they keep these instances nice and clean. Your account will be approved 100%.

Tweak your account.

After you are approved simply go through your settings and set up stuff. It is a lot better than Facebook and easier to grasp and very clean. You can choose to block content based on language, words, you can choose who can see your posts and such. It is up to you how you set this up. Take it easy. No rush. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and you can do any changes in time. It is your baby dear.

Start to follow people and organizations.

This is what you are there for. But how can you find them? Don’t be like a hungry bear that goes into a house and wants to eat everything it finds, and if it does not find much, it goes away. Be a nice, civilized, and sane bear and you’ll get to eat in that house very good food and not get fat. For starters you can follow us, people from TROM. Sasha, Shas, Aaron, me, Alexio and more importantly our TROM page. Then look through our contact list and add more people. Let it grow slowly and organically. In the contacts settings, you can search people based on interests (keywords). Let it grow slowly and I mean that. You may be used with Facebook and the crazy of influx of information that engulfs your entire life. This is a way for you to start as brand new and meet new people. It is like moving from New York (facebook) to a small nice village. You’ll see, life is better there ;).

The awesome part that keeps me personally there.

Friendica opens the doors to pretty much any Federated network. Say you find a Mastodon account in the wild. Copy the url to your Friendica search bar then simply follow them. Do the same for any other Federated network. Now you can interact with these people (send private messages, see their posts in your feed, comment to them, like, share, etc.).

Follow websites!

Yah! You can. Pretty much any website (since most have an RSS feed). Copy our videoneat.com url, or tromjaro.com, tiotrom.com, bigworldsmallsasha.com, trade-free.org/directory, or any other that you like, into the contacts page and just follow. You’ll get to see the posts in your feed whenever these websites post new stuff. How cool! You can also tweak the settings for each such website, individually. For example you can set up how frequently you get updates from them, if you want to get a notification when they post something new, or format how the posts should look like.

At times, if these websites support it, you can see their entire articles in you feed so no need to go to their websites. I recommend you select “fetch information and keywords” so you get to see their posts as a summary and link to the original article. And lastly, you can select to auo-reshare any of these websites’ posts on your profile if you wish. Or as your own posts.

Follow Twitter!

If you have a Twitter account, now is the time to never use twitter.com but use it through your Friendica. Go to Settings – Social Networks and click the Twitter tab. Connect to your Twitter (easy, a few seconds). Now you should choose “allow posting on twitter” and “import the remote timeline”. Why? Because now if you want to follow someone on Twitter, simply copy their twitter url, the entire thing, into the same contacts page and follow them. And you’ll see their posts in your timeline. Easy.

You can reply to these Twitter accounts from Friendica and interact with them from there. Super cool. I already follow a few Twitter accounts and works great.

 
 
Follow Facebook pages and more!
 
You cannot follow people/pages from Facebook in a “native” and interactive way, but there is a way you can do that when these are public. Go to our RSS-Bridge service here. Search for Facebook Bridge | Main Site. Now click “show more”. And add a Facebook page name that you want to follow as I showcase bellow. “username” is the page name.

Now click “Html”. You will be redirected to a new page where you can see the posts of that page as such.

Right click the Mrss and then Copy Link. That’s all. Now you have the RSS link of that Facebook page. Go to your contacts page and add it there. Then click “connect”. Same as adding any contacts or websites.

And that’s how you can follow Facebook pages or public profiles. Use that RSS-Bridge. You cannot comment/interact with these, but well…at least you can follow them. I suggested to Friendica-friendy developers to add the RSS-Bridge as an addon to Friendica, so that if you want to follow a user/page to be as easy as pasting the facebook URL into the “add new contact” form, and the rest is magic.

Follow the entire internet!

Follow Youtube, WordPress plugins updates, Wikipedia daily article or “did you know?”, VK pages, Vimeo, photos from Unsplash, you can even follow Twitter users and pages without an account or even follow hashtags….you can follow Telegram public groups, or when new stuff is added to the BitTorrent network (like say you want to know when a new episode from whatever documentary series you like, is available on torrents). Follow Sub-Reddits, or even PornHub; follow the latest releases on FDroid and sooo much more. I am telling you, this RSS-Bridge is amazing and you can use it as a proxy for connecting your Friendica to pretty much the entire internet.

So yah…slowly you can add up as much stuff to your friends/follows as you want. Create a stream of what you love from the entire Internet.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like, thought people that they should be spoon fed. You wait for them to feed you, and that led to a world where what you consume is always what these platforms are feeding you. And they do that based on their own interests, not yours. And you end up being unable to control that spoon ->>

It takes a bit of time to move to a place like Friendica. But not as much as you might think. However, you have to get used to feed yourself. Grab that spoon. Choose your food. You will see that it makes a huge difference in the long term.

SEE YOU ON FRIENDICA!

The social ad-networks, the Fediverse, and my Live is back

The social ad-networks, the Fediverse, and my Live is back

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, now TikTok, the world is eaten alive by a few websites that pretend to want to “connect” people. They even call themselves “social” networks. In fact they are ad networks. We have a few such accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube (TIFY) and I am sick of them. So sick I created a TROM Live page where I started to post directly on the tromsite, forgetting about these ad-networks. But even when I was posting on TROM Live, we kept those TIFY adcounts updated through Hootsuite (a tool for which we pay) that allows us to schedule posts on all of those networks. It is like our livestock industry today. Just put more stuff out there, else the world seems to collapse.

This craze of nonstop eating nothingness has transformed the eaters and the feeders into untamed animals that seem to be unable to stop. I post, you watch. I post, you watch, I post, you watch. If I do not post, the TIFY AI will forget about me and not notify you. I cease to exist.

Thing is, if we stop posting on TIFY, then we go even deeper into the hole of silence, because TIFY wants something from you (data, attention, money), so they have created a cattle industry, where the milked cattle are people, and if you do not feed the cattle (as a “creator”) then no more cattle, and your ideas and projects will sink. Both of you are actually the cattle for TIFY, who milks you both, while you the creator milks others…endless fuckery.

I never wanted any of this, but when we released a new book for example, I liked to break it into “memes”. Images that I made with the bits of text I would grab from the new book. I saw it as an educational thingy. So I would make lots of them, and schedule them via Hootsuite on all of these networks. I NEVER duplicated any image/post. For the past year or so, we did not release any new book, so no more new memes. I kinda gave up to this posting-memes idea for educational purposes, especially since I feel it stronger and stronger that people who are on TIFY are too bombarded with shit to even make a difference if you try to post scientific and well made content. So what’s the point!?

Sasha kept these TIFY alive by reposting a lot of memes and videos for the past year or so, and she still wants to keep them alive. In the end, I agree, if is not much work and others can help with it…lets shoot in the dark and keep on posting there too. But I hate TIFY as much as I hate any company and charlatan. I don’t even want to type their url into any text field, that’s how much I hate these charlatans that are selling delusional ideas of “connectivity” and “sociability”, while the cattle are eating their vomit.

WHAT. TO. DO. !.?.

We have a bunch of projects: tromjaro.com, tromsite.com, videoneat.com, trade-free.org/directory, tromland.org. Except tromland and tromsite, the rest are very active. We post new stuff there. Plus, when we make a new video, or book, or have TROMcast….we need to let people know about these.

So. How to let people know about these things in a sane way and still keep the TIFY cancer fed, while not feeling disastrously depressed by using these tumors?

WELCOME TO THE FEDIVERSE.

Posting updates on TROMsite.com/live via an improvised chat, felt cozy, at home, but not at all interactive for anyone in case they wanted to reply, share, follow. It was mainly me going to my balcony and giving some updates to the empty town. At least that’s how I felt, which is cozy to me. But I get it…some people want to interact a bit, not in a TIFY way, but in a sane way. The answer is: THE FEEEEEEEEEEDIVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

It is difficult for me to explain what this is, and a mighty task to make you (the reader) as excited as I am. I will try to explain in the most simple way possible. So. Let’s use the Facebook example. Let’s imagine we make Facebook trade-free. That means, Facebook doesn’t ask anything in return (no trade) for the service that they provide. So, no more ads, no more data collection, no more making money from paid advertising. Nothing of that. Basically imagine a Facebook without 90% of its current content. It is like wanting to remove a tumor from a patient, but you realize that the tumor is a lot bigger than the patient. So you end up removing the patient. A tumor with a human.

Anyways. Trade-Free (TF) Facebook. Honest. No more bad incentives to make you stay on their platform. Why would they want to trap you into their world if they do not get anything back from you? So this TF Facebook allows you to create posts (text), share images, make albums, add videos, crate groups, pages, comment, share, etc.. And instead of being on Facebook.com, a copy of its software is installed on Facebook.net, Facebook.org, Facebook.free, and 50 more domains. Let’s call these “instances”. All run the same software, like imagine a barebone FB without any users, on multiple such websites. We start freshly new. GO.

You, the user (not a cattle this time), can choose whichever “instance” suits you best, because each instance is run by different people/organizations, and they can tweak their version of FB the way they want to. Of course, they are mainly the same, but some may not accept people who post their dick photos, while some do. Now, the user (not the cattle, again!), can choose which FB they want, and register an account there. There is no competition between these instances, mind you, since there is no incentive for that. If my instance has too many users and puts a toll on my server, I can tell people to go to other instances so that we disperse the load. The other instances are my friends.

BUT TIO, that means I LOSE my friends. I register here, to show my dick picks, but my friends register there…I can’t there…they don’t want here…we NEED TO STAY IN TOUCH.

I HEAR YOU. CALM DOWN. JIZAS. ACTUALLY THIS IS WHAT FEDIVERSE IS ALL ABOUT.

Now that we have many instances, we connect them with each other by default. User A registers on FB.ORG, user B on FB.PENIS. But if user A searches for user B in their FB search, they find him. They can follow him, comment on his posts, and all that. As if user B is on FB.ORG, even tho is not. How is that possible? Don’t ask me, ask the Fediverse God.

So now we have multiple instances, each instance is a TF FB, each instance has some users (different from other instances), and all of them are connected. I, on this instance, can instantly communicate with you and others on any instances. This way, the power of FB is distributed. If I do not like one instance, I pack my bags and move to another one. Export -> Import. My contacts, messages, posts. All that. Like magic.

WELCOME TO

THE FEDIVERSE

But there is a downside to this right? I mean….it has to be. It is slow. Unreliable. UWGLY…. ???
 
Actually no. And even if it may be a few minutes behind reality, it is still hardly noticeable from my experience. And guess what? There is more to this!
 
Imagine we do the same with Youtube. De-tradiffy it. Federate it. Many Youtubes, many domains. All communicating with each other. We do the same with Twitter and Instagram. Now, we have hundreds of websites (instances) of TIFY. TF-TIFY. Best part? Since they all use the same protocol (fancy word that means nothing for normal people, and a lot for programmers), they can communicate with each other. Me on Facebook can follow a Youtube channel and see its posts in my newsfeed. Even comment on it, reshare it, like it, and all that. Twitter users can communicate with Facebook users too. And instagram is useless anyways so probably they don’t care to communicate with neither, even tho is possible. A world where we connect all of these platforms.
 

WE'VE REACHED NIRVANA!

If you think about it, this is how the Internet should work. Back in the days most, if not all websites had another “protocol” embedded underneath their skin: RSS. That was a “text” file that each website generated automatically, and it contained all of your latest posts or comments. So, if you wanted to stay up to date with what bigbunnyforgood.soemthing website was posting, you would grab its RSS feed (usually by adding the word “feed” after the url), and paste that into an RSS Reader. This program will then grab the latest posts from the bunny. You could choose any RSS Reader for the job. And add as many such websites to the mix.

Nowadays RSS is still alive, although youngsters probably think that’s a pornhub category like Rubber Sex Slaves or a subreddit, Racist Skinny Sluts. Not sure which one is which…. Anyhow, RSS is still an important protocol. Email is another such protocol. I can communicate with you via email even if your email is on gmail.com, and mine is on tromsite.com. It does not matter. Fediverse is like combining RSS with Email, and feed it magic mushrooms.

Examples of Fediverse tools: Friendica, Mastodon, Peertube, Pixelfed. Mix them up and we have PPFM, MFPP, PMFP…whatever. They are the TF and Federated versions of TIFY.

Peertube is a Federated Youtube, Piixelfed is a Federated Instagram, Mastodon is a Federated Twitter, and Friendica is a Federated Facebook. Of course, they are more than that, They are their own thing. They look different, work different. But, they are meant to be replacements for those ugly ones. I will mainly talk about Friedica since it is what we use to deal with our Social Dilemma.

Can’t help but notice that while writing for this blog, our latest post from Friendica is this documentary from VideoNeat, that’s about these big online companies taking over the world.

Friendica is so awesome I don’t even know where to start. For one the design is modern and so clean. Here’s how TROM’s pages look like on FB vs Friendica:

A very simple post composer, yet good enough to create long posts with some basic text editing. You can add multiple images, format the text, add links, location, add a post into a category, add tags or even mention friends or pages. You can create a full-blown post with this. Sure, with a simple design. What’ya’want’more?

Basic photo albums. You can comment on any photo, add tags and mentions, captions, or rotate them. Depends on the Instance, but from my tests you can’t add videos. Only from external sources in posts. Videos are images. But BIGGER. So ya’ need a BIGGER server for the job.

Events. We can use this for our TROM-Cast for sure. When we go live, and what hour. Add to the calendar. Share it. Tag, mention. Simple.

And for your page profile you can add as many fields as you want, with multiple websites, descriptions and such.

In the Settings you have great control over who to follow, how to see or not posts, how to post and where, export your data and all that. I won’t go into details, I’ll only highlight some of the features I love.

Your profile can be a page, a personal stream, an organization, a forum….different types, depending on your needs.

You can choose between several themes, or customize any of them. Colors, background image, opacity, and stuff like that. It is a minimal-based theming, but definitely a cool thing to have access to.

You can also choose between infinite scroll or pagination, you can disable the dislike buttons, or ban posts containing certain URLs or words.

You can connect to some social networks and cross post to them or from them to your Friendica, automatically or manually. For example, you can set up your WordPress website so that when you post to Friendica, it will create a post on your website.

You can even add “moderators” or “admins” to your pages, which is handy.

But all of this is not like “whoa”. It’s more like, yah….I’ve seen this before…remember MySpace? Hi5? What’s so cool about Friendica? Well, here’s where the amazing part comes, and it is because of the Federation.

CONTACTS.

These 3 contacts come from 3 different platforms. One is from Mstodon (a Twitter alternative), one from PeerTube (the good Youtube), and one from Friendica. The way I added them as friends is by copying their URLs or “handles” into the search box in my Friendica page. Friendica finds them, and I can follow them. I can send them private messages or see their posts in my newsfeed. As simply as it is on Facebook to search for contacts. Here is how posts from all of these contacts look like on my Friendica homepage (stream):

This is how a post from someone on Friendica looks like:

This is how a post from someone on Mastodon looks like:

This is how a post from someone on PeerTube looks like:

This is how a post from someone on Twitter looks like:

Aham. I said Twitter, because you can connect with Twitter if you have a Twitter account (in seconds) and you can see the posts in your feed and reply and all that from your Friendica. How to add a Twitter contact? Same as you add any, put the URL of a Twitter account in the search field and then click follow. Done.

So, you can follow and interact with people from the entire Fediverse, even from the non-federated Twitter, but there is one more neat thing about Friendica. Take any website, say videoneat.com, and paste that URL into the same search field. Guess what? If the website has an RSS feed (remember the Rare Skinny Sluts?), then you can follow that too. Here’s how an RSS post looks like:

Yah…same as any other posts…and if the website has a full RSS feed, then you can read the entire post in your news feed.

So, contacts from any Fediverse accounts, plus Twitter, plus RSS sources. All look the same. And you can interact with all just like you would do with any contact.

I will bore you for 3-4 minutes. bare with me tho, I need to vent this….

And the best feature for me, is this: in the settings of any user, you can opt in to automatically grab their posts and either reshare them, or post as your own. Why is this so cool? Because we have several websites that produce content daily, and I’ve set it up so that the RSS feed from these websites, is grabbed and posted as our page posts, automatically. This is so so cool. Federation + RSS is bliss. You can even contact people over Email through Friendica, but I won’t even mention that 😀 – it’s too much awesomness.

With all that in mind, this is how I am now managing all of these social networks, most of which are adcounts.

1. I created 2 Freindica accounts. One is my personal account and one is the TROM page. Both are managed by one single account. These are “identities” actually. One login. Two identities.

2. I setup tromjaro.com, videoneat.com, and trade-free.org/directory to mirror the RSS Feeds as our Friendica TROM’s page posts. So, whenever there is a new post on these, our Friendica TROM page will post about it.

3. Since there is no easy way to schedule posts on Friendica + we also have to keep the TIFY tumor alive (at least for now), I came up with a solution. We are still using Hootsuite to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, with the help of the amazing trade-free piece of software called RSS-Bridge, and our own TROMland instance. I can create an RSS feed for our Facebook page, and add it as a contact to our Friendica TROM page, and as above, mirror the posts as Friendica TROM posts. Now, our Friendica TROM page automatically pulls posts from our websites + our Facebook page RSS (scheduled posts). And, of course, whenever we need to post something directly there.

So, right now, if Sasha keeps on scheduling on Hootsuite, and I keep those websites updated, we will have an active TROM Friendica page.

Last cool thing. I’ll bore you a bit more.

Using our RSS Reader from tromsite.com, that is responsible for our curated news, videos, and such https://www.tromsite.com/tools/news/, I created a news feed for the Fediverse to use it as our TROM Live. It pulls posts from my personal Friendica and TROM’s Friendica + the TROM people I’ll add there. And, whenever I tag a post with #tromlive, or anyone from TROM does that, or our TROM Friendica page does it, it will go to https://www.tromsite.com/live/. And to any tromsite.com page (click the top TROM logo).

Imagine this: I work on something for TROM and I post about my work on my personal Friendica profile. I tag it with #tromlive, and it goes to our tromsite.com/live page. Aaron uses Mastodon and when he does something for TROM and wants to share, again tags his post with #tromlive and it goes to the same place. Alexio, who is on Friendica, can do the same. And you can see on TROM Live who posts what and click our names to go to our Fediverse profiles and you can even follow us there. As cool as that. New TROM-Cast? Create a Friendica event, tag with #tromlive. Goes on Friendica + TROM Live. Schedule something on Hootsuite that you also want to go to TROM Live? Just tag it with #tromlive. Easy! And, for my own personal Live, because YES, IT IS BACK ->>>> https://www.tiotrom.com/live/, it is the same system only that all of what I post on my Friendica goes to my live. At times, I post stuff that is personal, so I would want only #tromlive posts to go to TROM Live.

Basically we “manually” post on Hootsuite (mostly scheduled posts), to our websites (normal work for us), and to our Fediverse accounts. Seems like a lot, but I for one will 95% post on my Friendica account. That’s all. It is in fact a very simple and easy to manage “mess”. I move away from TIF, and I create a mega stream of content on TROM’s Friendica page. A Trade-Free place. A Trade-Free Social Network. Plus, keep our TROM Live updated + my Live. So you can either follow the hand or the jesus jump. Or both. And that’s all. No need to go anywhere else to see updates from us.

a. I am using the Flow Flow paid plugin as our RSS Reader for tromsite.com and this website. I bought this one many years ago so I might as well use it. Download it from here for free. I set up a stream of TROM's Friendica and my personal Friendica with Flow Flow + other Fediverse sources. Say Aaron is on Mastodon, so I grab the RSS feed for Aaron's Mastodon because yes, Fediverse sources also have an RSS feed. How to find that? Ask around is easy.

 

b. I grab TROM's and my Friendica RSS. This is actually an Atom Feed, similar to RSS. Looks something like this https://instanceurl/feed/username/posts.

 

c. Because the Flow Flow plugin doesn't work with Atom Feeds, I need to convert it into an RSS feed. Unfortunately I have to use FeedBurner (by Google) to do it. Add the Atom url in FeedBurner and in the options click "convert" to RSS 2.0. Grab the new RSS url. That's what you have to use. As a side-note, the developers of the Flow Flow plugin plan to implement Atom feeds support.

 

d. Flow Flow + Fediverse RSS feeds =  great. But, in order to only grab posts that contain #tromlive, you have to add a filter in Flow Flow for each of the RSS feed you have added.

 

And that's all.

 

Now, for TROM Live I had to add a HTML code to the page to refresh the page automatically every 10 minutes so that users don't have to do it manually.

 

The downside for TROM Live is that it takes around 15-20 minutes for a post to go live. Say I make a post on my Friendica. It takes Friendica a few minutes to update the Atom Feed. Then the Atom Feed needs to be read by FeedBurner - FeedBurner checks it every couple of minutes. Once it grabs the update, Flow Flow must check it too. It checks every 5 minutes (you need to change the plugin code a bit to allow for 5 min - ask me in the comments if you need to). Once Flow Flow grabs the update, the Live Page must refresh (every couple of minutes).

 

I post on Friendica -> Atom Feed gets created -> FeedBurner reads it -> Flow Flow reads the FeedBurner RSS and filters by #tromlive -> TROM Live gets refreshed with the new update. All automated so no sweat.

What you have to understand from all this, is that the Internet should work this way. The Fediverse way. If TIFY wouldn’t make a business out of the human cattle, keeping them trapped into their own garden, then they would for sure implement such tools. Why can’t I follow a Facebook page or profile, or Youtube account, without registering with these companies? Because that will hurt their business. TIFY is trade-based, so its sole purpose is to engage in trades with the users. Users are its clients. I give you a “social” platform, you give me your data. They are like any other store out there. If I sell tomatoes, but they are not as good as the ones in the shop next door, or I don’t have enough of them, I will never send you to the other shop. I’ll lose!
 

The reason Friendica and the like are so great, is because they are trade-free. They ask nothing in return from the users. They give you this platform, and grab nothing from you. Yes, at times you trade your freedom since you may not be allowed to post this or that (violence, gore, nudity, etc..), but these are smallish trades and you may find instances where they do not inject such rules. Also, we live in a fucked up world of mindless zombies and charlatans, so they can abuse such platforms. These rules are in place for that. When TIFY puts up such rules, they are usually to make their advertisers happy that their platforms are as clean as the inside of a disinfectant bottle, so they can advertise there in abundance.

Facebook

Friendica

I feel relaxed by using Friendica and knowing about the Fediverse. I need to keep my online life as clean as possible, in order to focus on the stuff I create and what I digest online.

It also goes to show how, with billions under their mattresses, TIFY created platforms that are technically inferior to what a handful of good humans created, with not even a fraction of a percent of the resources these TIFY giants have.

The moral of the story is this: if you create trade-free goods/services, it is very likely that you will create good quality and honest goods/services. Because there is no incentive for you to do “bad”. Imagine if these platforms would label themselves as “trade-free” so we can also educate humans about the problem that they are trying to address. Because in the end, these people created these platforms because they wanted to solve some problems: that of data collection, of proprietary software, of privacy, etc.. Problems that are in fact symptoms of our trade-based society. And I explained that in great detail in this book.

I understand that the vast majority of people will not use these platforms. The sad truth is that humans got so enculturated that they will hardly ever change. If you can’t change your online social network, how can you change anything in your life? Really. Is there anything easier than this? If humans can’t use a different Facebook, that is honest and so much better, when it exists, then there is no hope we will ever change anything in this world: how we distribute resources, organize our society, etc.. We will cling onto old notions and platforms. We will die on facebook, screaming about democracy, in a trade-based society that makes both of these, irrelevant, useless, illusionary, and at times harmful.

So don’t be one of the morons. If you really want to use a social platform, use Friendica or other Fediverse alternative. If you still have to use TIFY use it as a disposal machine. Just to put your “ads” there about your work. A necessary evil, but put gloves when you use it, like we do with Hootsuite. I am sure, one day, in the near future, I’ll close all of the TIFY. We ONLY use them to automatically share our work.

We are on TROMSITE.COM/LIVE. We are on FRIENDICA. We are on our personal websites. That’s all. The rest, we are not.

In a saner world, we would create stuff and not care how many people we reach. Who likes what we do. We just do it. And that’s what I’ve been doing all of my life. I care about my work and what I do and I enjoy that. The rest can fuck off. This is why I have the “courage” to go use another social network and won’t care much or at all if I will close all of the TIFY accounts. Our stuff is hosted on our servers or archive.org anyways. Our work and chats are done via NextCloud. I am using the tools I think are best and trade-free. We have lost lots of “followers” because of that. And I don’t care.

In the end, you have to enjoy what you do. Else you are a prostitute of a trade system, trading your stuff for currency, likes, reactions. Don’t be a sad cattle.

Make a Friendica account. I recommend you https://venera.social/. Takes a minute. Get familiar with it. Add me as your contact. Add others. You’ll be surprised how friendly the community is. Then add more contacts from the Fediverse, add RSS sources like our website, and all that. Ask me here if you need any help. And use https://fediverse.party/ to find other such Federated places in the digital universe.

UPDATE 1

Shortly after writing this blog post I realized that it is super uncomfortable for me to pat 12 Euros a month for Hootsuite to what? To post on those trade-based social networks? To then have those posts mirrored on Friendica? What for!? So I changed the plan. Friendica (TROM and Tio), both pages, are the ONLY ones I will touch. Instead of posting on Hootsuite that will send posts to Facebook, Insta, and Twitter, and then FB RSS to push to Friendica, I will do the opposite way. All posts from Friendica go to Facebook and Twitter automatically. Like so:

The biggest advantage is that the way I make the posts on Friendica is simply beautiful and clean and smart. The way I compose them. You can make full posts there, like a blog post. Also, the fact that I only manage 1 single place for updates: Friendica. The biggest downside is that I am using a 3rd party service (IFTTT) and when it tries to push updates from Friendica’s RSS to Facebook or Twitter, it does not send the images….so….posts without images…which sucks. Bad. Cause many times we relied on images to tell a message. But…I will try and try to see if that can be fixed….at least the setup is done. Also, we lose the ability to schedule “memes”. However I will look for a trade-free solution for that. I imagine a fediverse or other tools for say WordPress that allow us to upload our memes and schedule them and then grab an RSS feed and push it to Friendica.

Trust me I tried so much…I made accounts….I even made a new website to try to push proper updates to Facebook through WordPress…nothing really works….Facebook is the most awful company….Anyways. Maybe I’ll update the post again…I feel so drained of energy.

UPDATE 2

There we go, one more update hahah. Maybe this is the last? Will see. I made it even better. Improving. Mind you, I want stuff to be as automated as possible. I also don’t want to completely shut down FB and Twitter since there are people following us there…

So, the bellow image explains it very well. 5 RSS sources. 3 bubbles in the picture. They auto feed TROM Friendica and FB. For FB I had to do an IFTTT hook-thing…it is free for 3 or so hooks. These are automated. The social.tromsite.com is a new thing that I made….JEEZ. Basically it is a new website that uses 3 main plugins to automate all of our memes. We have around 6k memes. Only 1k or so are converted for tromsite.com from tvpmagazine. I used the plugins: “Auto Post After Image Upload” to make a new post whenever we upload an image. Thus, we can uplaod 1k photos to this website, and it creates 1k posts. Amazing. “Revive Old Posts” is a plugin that takes 2 random posts and posts them on FB. The free version only post them as links, so doesn’t look 100% ok on FB but is the best I can do. Is fine. And lastly “WP Auto Republish” to republish these posts in random fashion on the website – this is necessary for the RSS. It makes sure that we always have at least 2 new posts a day out of those random ones made out of the 1k images we uploaded. This is so that when Friendica checks for new posts from social.tromsite.com, it finds new ones daily.

So the automated RSS feeds Friendica and FB. Plus I also manually post on Friendica. And whenever i tag my posts with #tromlive, the Friendica TROM page ones go to FB, and TROM Live, and my personal Friendica (tagged with #tromlive) go only to TROM Live.
 
And, of course, the last ones: Posts from Friendica are mirrored to Twitter, from my Friendica profile to my Live.
 
Trust me. It makes a lot of sense :D. This way we don’t replicate posts anywhere. And keep TROM Friendica updated (that’s the best source for what TROM releases or the most important news) + TROM Live with our work + FB and Twitter (yaks) + my personal website.
 
Brilliant! 🙂
 
And all works. Tested. I am so so so so so happy with social.tromsite.com because we basically have to upload photos there and that’s it. They are randomly posted 2 a day. And these memes are super interesting.
 
Let’s see if this is my last update.

UPDATE 3

Oh yeah, update numero tres. Ha-Ha. I kinda perfected the system. I really want to make it very well. I looks like this is the last update, but don’t quote me on that for now. Here’s the thing, although TIFY sucks balls, and I hate it, I understand that there are some people who find it super difficult to move to some Fediverse alternative because maybe their friends and families are on TIFY. So my goal is to keep TIFY updated in a proper way, while not giving a shit about it ;).
 
The update numero doz, above, had a few critical flaws. The images I scheduled on FB were not posted as images, but as links that could use the image as a “preview”. So the image was cut. Not good! Same on Twitter. Thus, all of the work on social.tromsite.com was only great for Friendica and partially good for these two. I FIXED THAT through IFTTT hooks. Now those 2 images that we post daily in a random and automated fashion are indeed posted as images on FB and Twitter. Great!
 
Another issue is when I posted on FB from Friendica via the hashtag thing, it only posted a sentence. FIXED IT! Now it posts the entire posts.
 
Here’s the beauty:
The RSS feeds from videoneat, tromjaro, and trade-free.org/directory feed via IFTTT to FB and Twitter, and directly to Freindica. The 2 images-a-day from social.tromsite.com are going through the same exact process. And when I post on TROM’s Friendica page it goes nowhere unless I tag it with #tromlive and that makes the post go fully on FB and TROM Live + I can also “tick” (check) a simple box when I post it, and goes to Twitter too. So Friendica feeds the rest when it comes to direct messages. GREAT!

I’ve also bulk edited all of the 1.140 posts on social.tromsite.com and added as the title “Read our books at https://www.tromsite.com/books”, so now all of these images that are posted on the 3 social networks (Friendica, FB, Twitter) are posted with that message.

Lastly, I had to remove some plugins that didn’t work very well (from social.tromsite.com) and add new ones. Actually I only use “Auto Post Scheduler” that basically I setup to choose 2 random posts a day and change their publishing date to the most recent date possible. Thus, we have 2 new random “posts” on that website, a day, at different hours. The RSS is then read by our octopus above, and feeds the social networks.

Oh, and to make it perfect, Georgi (my sister), will manually repost as many images from FB to our Instagram account. it is easy.

Thus, we treat all of these social networks like first class citizens. Frendica, FB, Twitter, will post the same exact content (most of the time). And most of it is automated (but good and new content). I may have found BLISS with this…finally…. I did all of this because I wanted to focus on creating stuff and the “sharing”  of it to not stay in my way + I wanted to not use TIFY anymore. Like directly use it.

We will close Hootsuite the following days. We will save 11 Euros a month. This can help pay for all of our domains. Entirely. So it is a good saving of money kind of thing ;).

There is one single downside: when I share from Friendica to FB, I can only share plain text….and links. But images won’t display on FB…maybe I’ll find a way to fix this last thing, but is not really that important. Usually I do not share images directly from Friendica to FB.

UPDATE 4

Another update haha. I fixed a few issues and such. So, the main issue was that whenever I would post on Friendica with the hashtag #tromlive, it would only go on Facebook. For Twitter I had to manually select to post it (from the Friendica’s message composer). I always forgot to do that. Now, when I tag a post with #tromlive on TROM’s Friendica page, it goes on both. Great! However if I were to add an image to such a post, on Friendica, it would not upload the image on either. It would only post the message. I fixed that. If I make a post and tag it with #tromimg instead of #tromlive, then the post goes on Facebook and Twitter and also uploads the Friendica’s image. So a proper post with an image on those networks. That’s very useful since at times I make posts and add images to these posts on Friendica, and I want the images to also go on the ad-networks.
 
Another thing I did: we have released our TROM II Documentary campaign, and the documentary will take at least a year to finish. And I want to post updates about the work since it is a very important project for TROM. So on the campaign page tromsite.com/trom2, I have added the same RSS feed like I did for TROM Live, only that this time it only posts items that are tagged #trom2 from Friendica’s TROM page and my personal Friendica account.
 
It sounds complicated but it is NOT. I still only posts on 2 accounts on Friendica, mine and TROM’s. On mine I post all the time, on TROM’s only when there is an important update that I want to stream to all social networks. And I have to keep in mind 3 tags:
 
#tromlive – the posts go to TROM Live + Facebook + Twitter, if they come from TROM’s Friendica. And they go only to TROm Live if they come from my personal account since that one is used for the work I do.

#tromimg – it is exactly as above, the only difference is to use this tag when I also post an image together with the message. And this is only relevant for TROM’s Friendica page.
 
#trom2 – when I post updates about the documentary
 
So imagine I want to make a post telling people about the next TROM-Cast. Since it is an important message for TROM, I will post on TROM’s Friendica page and tag it with #tromlive. That’s all. And it goes on TROM Live, Twitter, and Facebook. If I post something important about TROM II and I also include an image, I do that from TROM’s Friendica account again, and tag with #tromimg and #trom2, and it will go to TROM Live, Facebook, Twitter, and our TROM 2 campaign page.
 
#tromlive pushes posts to all of our places (TROM Live, Facebook, Twitter). #tromimg does the same only that it also uploads an image to those. And #trom to posts on TROM II campaign page. Combine them and it is great. Easy. Not difficult at all :).
My experience with the Manjaro Forums

My experience with the Manjaro Forums

This is about my past 2 years experience with these people, but to be honest it is an experience with some of them, not the majority of them. The article won’t be as long as it should since I linked to a bunch of discussions to highlight my points. In all, the Manjaro Forums are littered here and there with very mean schoolgirls that I felt like they conspired against me and TROMjaro :)). And TROMjaro became, from a Manjaro “spin” that was appreciated by a bunch on their forum, to this black sheep that admins got allergic to. And I wonder why since I’ve been very friendly there….let’s see. We debated about the trade-free idea, morality and ethics, about Manjaro and TROMjaro, and more.

I added some videos of me scrolling through the threads I linked to just in case Manjaro removes them. You can easily pause the videos to read through them. It is almost like I scroll for ya’ :). If the videos cannot be played in the browser, right click and “save link as” and watch them on your computer.

I like computers. They are a great tool that let you express your thoughts and do stuff. You can write articles, make videos, podcasts, websites, software, and so forth. My relationship with them started in the late 90s when we had a very old computer – so old you won’t recognize that as a computer. Black and white, using floppy disks. I was playing around through the MSDos system back then. It even had 2-3 old and weird games installed.

In the early 2000 a french lady came to Romania (via a school program or whatever) and stayed at our place. Eventually she bought us a Pentium computer. Now in color. Now even bigger floppy disks. I was playing Aladin and other such games, while poking around Windows 95. I quickly learned a thing or two about Windows and evolved with a few Pentium computers and pirated versions of Win98, later on XP, Vista or Windows 7.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LVjLA5HrQYM/TJzCjCGtDDI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/CEPOCg21dFA/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/all-widows-driver-logo.jpg

For more than 10 years I was playing with Windows. I was the guy you would call to install Windows on your computer or repair your Windows installation. I tweaked Windows to its limits so much so that I remember one day the “internet” guy came to set up my connection and windows looked so different that he was unable to navigate my computer. Like you would click a tree and the file manager will open haha. I spent so much time in front of the computer back then, learning how to make websites, edit videos or photos, and much more.

I never knew of another operating system. Until around 2012 when I started to hear more and more about Ubuntu and Linux. Back then Windows was pushing an awful update called “windows-ads-8”. They started to push ads inside the operating system and made it collect as much data as possible, and overall I felt like I don’t have control over this monster.

I tried Ubuntu and I was super impressed about this new world of Open Source. No drivers needed (everything worked out of the box), a Software Center (so bye bye using Google to install weird .exe files), and so easy to customize. I liked it so much that I migrated to it for several years, learning more and more about what Linux and Open Source are.

Although there were so many Linux distributions out there (Ubuntu being one of them), and me testing many of them, one stood up. Manjaro. Manjaro brought what Ubuntu lacked: super easy installation of software and access to a lot more software than Ubuntu by default. Their “software center” was full of every app, driver, and package you can imagine. I loved it. I didn’t have to use the terminal ever again to install some specific packages like I did in Ubuntu. Manjaro was also pushing updates faster so you got to taste the bleeding edge of the Open Source. After 4 years of using Ubuntu I switched to Manjaro.

Manjaro also had a great forum full of knowledge and from my experience back then, full of very nice people.

I am doing a lot of online work. I write books, make documentaries, videos, curate videos, news, software, documentaries, courses, I have a music website, a personal blog, and more. I am super busy so I need a computer that works. Although Manjaro didn’t work very well out of the box, in time I made it work thanks to the updates pushed by the Open Source community and some help from the Manjaro forums. I wanted to help Manjaro by suggesting some (maybe) knowledgeable improvements from my past experience with Windows and Ubuntu.

I started by making this post on their forum in 2018 “What I would add/change to Manjaro” (video). I just wanted to suggest some improvements.

The feedback was overall nice and at times useful, but then you’d see comments like this out of nowhere:

we seem to have this topic every couple of months and almost always posted by a newcomer hell-bent on changing Manjaro to their vision of what they want it to be without paying the dues necessary to even really now what that is. Not in truth.

Maybe you could read their posts and you little gossip-whores can get your ■■■■ together on this topic?

My best advice is to get some more (a lot more) time under your belt truly using Manjaro as-designed. Really learn Manjaro, rather than your very limited, mostly cursory examination before you go anywhere else with this topic.

Your post is specious at best.

You can read the entire thing for yourself to see that all I wanted was to suggest some improvements. A month later, this guy Jonathon closed the thread out of the blue with the message “I need to read through this thread. Call me tomorrow.”. Tomorrow never came for Jonathon or no one called him because that thread remained closed.

I said ok….you know, their forum, their rules. Interestingly after months, they did implement one of my suggestions from that post: to sort installed applications by date. So apparently it was a useful suggestion in the end.

Next I thought to suggest to them to add more types of packages in their Software Center, like appimages, snaps or flatpaks. “Appimages, snaps, and flatpaks in Manjaro’s Package Manager” (video). That post got a lot of attention and the responses were mixed. The discussion seemed a bit more fruitful, but guys like this Jonathon either started to have a crush on me or hated me for some reason. 🙂

He’s sarcasm is palpable :).

In the end I understood that it can be a bit complicated to add these other packages to the same software center. I said ok, I got their points. Now, 2 years later and they did just that. Flatpaks and Snaps are integrated into their Software Center….and it is great. But seeing so many no-sayers being bothered by a mere suggesting such an idea, was depressing.

In time I wanted to suggest some applications that were not found in their Software Center so maybe they can add them. I didn’t know how that works so I thought to suggest stuff. This (video) post is an example how the discussion escalates very quickly into a very mean tone. Jonathon seems to be my nemesis haha. At the end of this thread he posted a comment then closed the thread so I can’t reply. Later on we at TROM ended up making an app for AUR for that image converter that I was suggesting…And also, like Jonathon suggested, to make a post and ask if anyone can add these apps to their repositories, I did so here (video). No one did them. We made them eventually…

After some more discussions on their forum I decided to build my own version of Manjaro since that could be easier than requesting this or that. I said it could be a great way to also showcase this idea of trade-free in action, applied to software. I did so, after weeks of learning how. I got some help here and there on their forums. And I did it.

https://www.tromjaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/simple-desktop.png

I even asked (video) how to not duplicate the work and be part of their team to add new applications to their repositories, but that led to nowhere….I wanted to help directly, I asked how, but I wasn’t able to.

A few months later everyone started to get pissed off when Manjaro made a deal with a company called FreeOffice and started to promote their Office Suite instead of LibreOffice, which was trade-free. Basically Manjaro wanted to ship with FreeOffice by default and get rid of LibreOffice. FreeOffice is a freeware, meaning that they use the word “free” but it is almost as relevant as using the word “meat” as in MeatOffice, since they are so much about Free as they are about Meat. They are selling pro subscriptions if users want to really use their software. We know this tactic very well. All companies engage in it. So I, like others, wrote about it on their forum. My comment started here. What followed was a heated debate of the influence of trades on such projects. And, again, in the end, after such discussions, Manjaro agreed not to ship with MeatOffice installed by default. Maybe my noise added to the decision, yet while making the noise, people on the forum jumped at me like wild dogs.

I finished TROMjaro and I wanted to showcase it on their forum since they have a section where people post their versions of Manjaro. And so I did here (video).

This post is now locked and hidden from Manjaro’s forum or any search engine, so no one can see it unless they have the link. What was so awful about this thread that they made it like that? I recommend you to read it for yourself to judge. Basically all I wanted is to showcase what we did with TROMjaro. But shortly after, I was accused that all I wanted was to promote our “ideology” and such….

This Jonathon even moved the discussion about the “ideology” to a different thread, so that we “keep on point” in the first one. Here (video) he moved it. Guess what? He closed it in a few days or hours, I don’t remember….There is a interesting discussion in this thread and I recommend you read it ;). We basically debated over this trade-free idea. What is trade and so forth. It is an interesting discussion overall. I tried my best to keep calm and reply to their points. In the end their questions were very silly but well….

I tried to communicate with these people over private messages as seen here:

One of the private messages is in romanian since the guy was apparently from romania – he contacted me to “threaten” me haha

And this one when I contacted Jonathon about him editing my comments:

Aaron also posted about TROMjaro in their German section of the website, to then have its post removed entirely by the same Jonathon. Aaron contacted the guy in charge of Manjaro (since the guy is from Germany) but not much was done….

It is interesting that when I first made TROMjaro and showcased it to some people on some threads on their forum, some of them recommended me to brand it as TROMjaro to be better like that (more unique). We were using the Manjaro logos and such, because I didn’t care. Yes it was and still is Manjaro with some tweaks and unique features. Actually the guy in charge of Manjaro’s Gnome version (what we use) thought me how to brand TROMjaro so that I can remove the Manjaro branding. And so we did. To later on be “accused” that all we did is to remove Manjaro’s branding and added our own….

I really started to feel like on the Manjaro’s forum there are a bunch of mean schoolgirls that want to poke at you, and from that moment on, after the post about TROMjaro that got the attention of thousands of people, I was doomed on that forum :). I simply could not mention TROMjaro without someone being “mean” to me about it. Like take this recent post where someone asked what others think about TROMjaro and the first reply is from my crush, Jonathon, who says:

It is not the first time he deflects people from TROMjaro to other Linux Distributions. Funny part is that he recommended one that is already dead, Cleanjaro. Better dead than sorry, right!? :))

Over the past 2 years I think I mentioned TROMjaro a few more times, and others did it too, for sure, but I do not know if all of these posts are still available or not on their forum. They are keen to close threads and/or make them invisible. At one point this Jonathon started to edit my comments to remove links to our TROM books when they were questioning me about our trade-free idea. They were saying that linking to our stuff is promotion….I mean these are the sources I have about the idea. Jeez…

Seeing their childish attitude I decided to forget about their forums completely, despite me using them in the past to help others too, so not only to fix my own computer problems. Until today….

You see, Manjaro pushes a lot of updates almost weekly. That’s great since it means a lot of new features. But that also means users are bothered with constant update notifications. On top of that, it makes it mathematically more likely for the system to break here and there if you push so many updates. Overall we keep TROMjaro super simple and updates go smoothly most of the time. At times they break stuff and I have to deal with the aftermath for TROMjaro users that contact us, and the same is true for manjaro that has to deal with the same aftermath but in larger quantities. From my experience Manjaro could make it easier for people to deal with the updates and also to install and remove software. Just a few minor improvements can make the experience better in my view. And so, like in the past, I thought to make a post on their forum to tell them about my ideas. And guess what happened? 🙂 They closed the thread in a few hours after I posted. Am I that evil? Please read the thread if you have the time and decide if this thread should have been closed… “A few ideas about handling the installation and updates of software in Manjaro after 1 year of experience” (video).

I was about to add this comment when they closed again the thread:

As the story goes, maybe in a few months time they will take these suggestions into account….

It is sad to see this attitude from an Open Source project. Maybe some of these creatures got too bothered by all kinds of users posting crap on their forum and their patience is as thin and robust as a fart in a storm. 🙂

I wanted to make this blog post to let people know about all this. I will definitely stop posting on their forums. It is beyond ridiculous how they handled my threads and comments. Maybe you have the time to go through these pages of content, maybe you don’t, but it is the proof that some of Manjaro Forum admins are like little kids that get protective with their toys and if they get pissed off by you then you can fuck off cause they will forever hate you! “meanfaceemoji”.

The good part is that, Manjaro being open source, I can continue the work on TROMjaro uninterrupted and undisturbed. Despite our differences we can use each other’s work. I can suggest features to Manjaro directly to their project’s Gitlab pages and forget about their forum. There at least it seems like they are more “pro” and these mean little girls from the forum do not travel to such places that often.

In the end, I made some of them think a bit about this trade-free idea and I’m sure TROMjaro made them curious a bit in like “what the fuck is this”. At least that, if not more ;).

OurMinds.Online, a new project

OurMinds.Online, a new project

I created a new project: OurMinds.Online. Before I explain what it is, I want to explain why it is.

Many years ago I bought the tromblog.com domain thinking that I will start a blog-like-website where I can quickly and easily write about interesting topics. I started a blog around 2006 in the romanian language and I used it as my mind-collector for many years already. It is damn comfortable to have access to such a place where you can cook your thoughts at low flame. No distractions. No competition. No disposable content. It is you and your mind.

But in today’s world humans choose to rent their thoughts to these “social ad networks”. Sure, it is a comfy way of transcoding your ideas into these “posts”, through your “mandatory” account. Billions are on faceplant, instapoop, twerkter, and the like, so for them having a “blog” is too old fashioned. Too difficult. Too expensive. Too unknown. Humans got trained by today’s trade-based society to want 100kg of content now! And in powder format so that they can easily mix it with water and drink it in-between taking a shit. Thoughts are brief and meaningless. They must be shocking, extreme, or in image format in order to suck-in some likes or reactions. Else they disappear. It is the dementia of today’s Internet. Thoughts come and go. Disposable content. A post-posted 5 hours ago seems long forgotten into the abyss of other disposable thoughts.

It is true that making your own website seems like cooking again. We are used to fast-foods, or meals that come pre-cooked, and all we have to do is either order them or put them into the microwave. It is fast, we say. It is easy, we think. But despite those being true, eating junk food may have some impacts on your health such as obesity or other disturbances of your insides. Having a blog seems like starting to cook for yourself. And, in a way, it is. But the advantages are palpable.

I will explain.

Faceplant banned me a few times because I posted some titties or ass-chicks, or some “violent” message on their platform. Despite these posts being about educational content, they got evaporated by their system faster than most men ejaculate at their first sexual encounter with a female. Under a minute. These posts never saw the light of the inter-web. These “gestures” are a reminder that you are not allowed to post your thoughts on such networks, you are only allowed to post certain thoughts. You know, similar to what China does overall. It is the same. Look, if it taste like poop, it smells like poop, and it looks like poop, then stop eating that chocolate! Faceplant and China are the same kind of ‘chocolates’.

So, despite being easier to eat fast-food meals, in the long run all you do is rent your thoughts to these platforms that will become your Pavlov, training you like Pavlov trained his dog. In small but consistent steps, your behavior will reflect their rules. Today they ban your dick, tomorrow they ban you protest. On top of this, they collect your data and inject ads into your face, so these platforms are anything but free. And they are ugly and cluttered.

You are their customer, but they did a hell of a job to make you feel like their “user”, their friend. You know….they just want to connect the world…. A few weeks ago I saw this documentary and I almost puked when one of faceplant’s high rank bosses said that their mission is not to make money. That’s secondary. Their mission is to connect people. Sure…and the US military’s mission is to say “hi” to people from all over the world. Greet them. Meet them. Visit their places and remember their faces.

Ok. An account. Constant trading of data and attention. Plus, limited choices in terms of what you think and share on these high flame ovens where everything evaporates really fast. So, how else can one share their thoughts online? Well, this is either much harder than you think or much easier. If you are already a wixfanboi, then for a merely 9 euros a month you get access to an easy tool to create your website. Yes, you only get 3GB storage, or like my inner photographer would say “enough to host a few high quality photos and one video”. Yes you get 2GB of bandwidth, so hopefully you are one of those that no one knows about, because if Eva, Mily and Bono go through your photo gallery twice a month, they will completely destroy your monthly plan. And yes, going for a 13 euros a month plan will give you enough to satisfy your tits. Their website builder is “easy-and-fun” to use and all that.

There are a plethora of such services out there nowadays, and they seem to be one step away from social-ad-networks in terms of “your-place”. Although I understand that it is easy to pay these centralized places to host your thoughts, my thoughts are too important for me to surrender them to any company. So, how do I cook then?

WordPress for now.

I will make some articles on tromjaro.com about how one can create an entire website, in an very easy manner, on their computer and broadcast it online without the need of any company. This is a new thing, but a super exciting one. For now, we still need some companies to create and host websites, else how can others access them?

If faceplant is like fast-food (someone else cooking high fat and high sugar food for you), and wixy is like that Blue Apron thing, that sends you home the raw ingredients and easy-to-follow steps to cook one meal at the price of three, then WordPress is mostly like you having access to a supermarket and buying what you need and cooking what you want. Doesn’t seem so daunting, right?

If you use Dreamhost (where we host our websites for now), it costs you around 4 euros a month to have a Wodrpess website with unlimited bandwith and storage. Of course these are “unlimited” as in “limited but you probably won’t exceed our quota”. In any case, for almost 3 times less the price, you could have a WordPress website. But then, it is hard to build a website in Wordpres you say? Those days when WordPress was only managed by Bobby who finished IT, are gone. Wodpress, the default installation (done by your hosting automatically most likely), is what we use for OurMinds.Online and it is as easy as wixy, if not easier. You can choose any of the thousands of templates out there, then customize it (easy-peasy, drag and drop, click and edit). Then any page you create, post you write, is as simple to do as any Word document.

Add text, images, buttons, galleries, super easy. I won’t go into details, but if anyone is scared of WordPress, then this “anyone” never got to taste the default WordPress installation in 2020. It is almost like never going out to buy food for yourself, thinking that’s too complicated.

So, cooking in WordPress is super easy and if you want to get cocky, and cook that Italian dish, you can do it in WordPress, granted that you learn the simple notion of themes+plugins. In WordPress you have blocks of elements, drag-and-drop style, and you have to install and enable them and tweak. After all, if you want to cook some exotic dishes you should at least read some recipes or watch some video tutorials, else you should stick to that fast-food. Despite WordPress, the default installation, being super simplistic yet complex enough for the vast majority of needs, it also allows a great expansion of creativity and complexity, something the other alternatives do not allow. You can also easily export all of your WordPress data and move your stuff to another server if Dreamhost or others start touching you inappropriately. Not to mention that you can even install WordPress on your own computer and run it from there. But that’s for the chefs.

So, now that I made my arguments of why it is important to have your own online space, and how to do it, let’s talk shortly about OurMinds.Online.

TROM is now comprised of a bunch of heads that, over the past 2 or so years, got more and more close to each other. More vocal, More themselves. They want a voice. Some have one through their websites, videos or other means, but some do not. For some setting up WordPress may still be challenging and it is understandable if you never had to deal with such cooking before. On top of that, I can cook pretty well in WordPress, so I can help out very easily.

TromBlog was more than my place, I wanted it to be a place for other TROM-like-minds, but then I thought it will be difficult to fact-check everything people may post in TROM’s name. So I gave up to the idea.

A few weeks ago, my neighbor Dima (the pirate who’s sober), told me about this idea of his to create a website where TROM-like-minded people would post. He said, it could be interesting for the ones who “follow” us to have a central hub where we post, rather than us posting on our own websites, spread across the ocean of the internet, like lonely migratory birds. I argued against that since, again, I was thinking it is a pain in the ass to keep an eye on the possible BS that some may post and such. Plus, I won’t give up my tiotrom.com anytime soon. He said he can copy-paste the articles that we write on our own websites, to this central hub. But….you know, some of such articles have custom made layouts and such….I argued against. On top of that I was busy with other stuff so I said if he wants to do it, he should try and see what’s the result. But I said I won’t be able or willing to help :D. I was a mean-machine.

A few weeks have gone and then Jen, this other TROM creature, sends us a “rant” (article) about this COVID-19 spectacle. Very good “rant”. But it was in a Google Docs…she writes very well and in a very interesting way. But Boogle Gocs?! I also talked to Yoann who wanted to build his own website…he’s another TROM-mind :). So then I said, fuck it, let’s build a super simple WordPress website and host it on TROM’s servers and give trade-free access to these creatures. One thing was different from my TromBlog idea: this time it’s not a TROM project, it is an independent one so anyone can post whatever they want. So, I won’t stress myself over what anyone posts. It is a trade-free service that I create for them. Period. 🙂

And so, OurMinds.Online was born. Now anyone close to TROM has a voice. It is their trade-free supermarket of goodies. They will find here the most basic ingredients to create any food they wish. Sure, we are limited in terms of storage space for example, but that’s a real limitation not an artificial one that these other companies create. There are no trades. No data collection, no ads, no one to censor the content. The website is divided into Thoughts and Minds, and they are self-explanatory. A mind is a person. A thought are the person’s ideas. So, you can see an accumulation of our thoughts on this website, or our individual minds. I made sure to keep this website super simple and to the point. I hope you all like it and we will start posting more and more stuff there ;).

In time, I want to give access to more and more people to post there. But we need to know them a bit, else we end up with conspiracy theories and all kinds of crap, and we don’t want to pollute this space. OurMinds.Online is a trade-free “service” for a few TROM people. Let’s see how it will evolve!

Why I got married?

Why I got married?

This is me, Sasha, and the mayor of a small Romanian town. He, through the power of himself, declared us “connected”. United. Glued. Forever sticky with each-other. I also wear a “camiseta” – that kind of shirt that you usually wear for special events. It is not mine and I don’t usually wear such things. Sasha is wearing a traditional romanian shirt. :))

I know, you may think yourself “What in the fuck…”. I do the same. But we did this because we had little to no choice. Not because we liked or wanted to. This is going to be a long post that summarizes some 9 months of my life. I need to take this off my chest. I also want to draw the attention to why this “marriage” ritual is more than a cute thing that people do. It is an abusive and mindless ritual.
 
How come I, the one who make fun of such rituals, got married?
 
I created TROM Documentary in 2011 to, among many things, poke fun at such rituals and to make people aware of such nonsensicalities. And now I’m part of them. But why? WHY? Well, there is a good reason why.
 
It started some 2 years ago (as far as I remember) when Sasha contacted me to help with TROM. She just discovered the project and really liked it. This was not unique since many people have contacted me to help with the project over the years. But Sasha started to help immediately and even created some discussion groups on FB and offline, where she would take each part of TROM Documentary, watch it with other people, and discuss it afterwards. She also made some Youtube videos with these discussions. Here. I thought that’s super interesting and I was super happy to see someone that’s so pro-active. We got in touch more and more over email and on Riot and I even participated to one or two of her online discussions. She was also helping with proofreading the TROM books and other materials. So, she was helping a lot and she was very interested in the project.
 
She had a website where she was posting about her very-interesing-life. I have to be honest here, I didn’t look at the website very much until later on since I was so busy with TROM. Basically she traveled all around the world for 10+ years, meeting all kinds of cultures in her way, and having a very different lifestyle than your normal Kathy. I traveled between my room, bathroom and kitchen for the past 10 years, but despite that we realized that our values (let’s call them TROM values 😛 ), were very much aligned, like Musk’s ‘penises’ when they descend.

After a few months, maybe more than a year actually, of staying in close contact and me realizing more and more that she is serious about not being a Kathy (sorry Kathy, nothing against you m’am, but the world is full of normal people), I asked to her to let me help rebuilding her website to highlight her lifestyle/ideas even better. To make something unique out of what she got there. I helped a few other people/projects in the past with their websites when I considered what they did as interesting. I like doing that. So it was nothing out of ordinary for me to propose that to her. It was really interesting to see Sasha writing about her unique exploration of Earth together with linking to relevant TROM info. Awesome photos, awesome stories. Smart writing. I really liked it. What she did with her blog was medicine done right. It was like when I was little and my mom used to put medicine in my soda drinks. A tasty way of getting healthier. Combine a “cool” lifestyle (that’s more than cool, it is interesting) with in-depth materials about our society, culture, tech, science. Sasha put the medicine out there in this easy-to-swallow-way. And I just wanted to make the “holder” (the cup) of her stuff, a bit more interesting.

Why Sasha was Aaron?

Side note: After swimming in these “activism” waters like TROM, TVP, TZM and the like for a bit, I noticed how many (MANY) people are in for the “making friends” of it. They want a connection. They want relationships. They want a community. Nothing against that, but to me that’s a bit puckey. If you are in search of a community on top of being interested in the project, then great. But if you make it more about the social aspects of it, then I hate you. I struggle like crazy to make these ideas (TROM ideas) easy to grasp and known, and if people join mostly to talk to others and find friends, then it is extremely disappointing for me. I failed. And I saw people that were in search of girlfriends and such, in these groups, more than they were interested in the projects. Girls (vagina-and-boobs-shaped humans) are a rarity in such groups. Thus, when they are present, I saw penis-and-no-boobs-shaped humans hitting on them. Perhaps because people in such groups are quite lonely, they would absolutely love to be in a relationship (feelings, sex, whatever) with another human that shares these “weird” values that very few share. Let’s be honest, finding a girlfriend (if that’s what you want) who is also interested in how this society works, is quite rare. Guys are more interested in such topics (statistically-observed-by-me and-others). So, in a way I get it, but it is uncomfortable to see such situations where people use such interesting projects like TVP, TZM, TROM and the like, to “hook-up” with others. I’m not saying they join for that reason, but that’s what I observed a bunch of times with several people.

Ok. So. I realized that I am quite an abnormal creature. Even compared to the people from such groups. I do not need a community, or a relationship. I am perfectly fine by myself. All of my life I lived alone basically. Relationships? A girlfriend? What are those? How do they smell? I tried them in high school for a bit, then in collage. I realized that they are over-hyped by our culture. Boring. And non-interesting to me. Both the community and relationships. Give me the sexiest girl in the world, make her my slave, but if we don’t share these TROM values then it cannot work. It is a no-brainer really, but something people might be very naive about when they only look at the wrapper of the package, instead of the “package” itself (values). So even in that scenario I’ll end up with a sex slave that might stress me out more than I stress her. In college I fancied about “relationships” a little bit and I remember a girl asking me to please stop poking jokes at her boi Jesus when we are together…..Yeah…..sure….If religion is bullshit, I’ll call that bullshit, like it is. So no thanks. I won’t ever be able to stay close to such normal creatures that are both shallow (know very little about the waters they swim into), and plain simply crazy (full of BS ideas and pseudoscience).

The idea here is that I am so curious about the world (what the fuck is happening) that I don’t give a fuck about anything else. Period. I don’t dream about a girlfriend, friends, a community, a horse, a sex slave, or a new car. If those will emerge somehow then great (no sex slave tho – humans need-be-respected-and-not-harmed), if not then I don’t care. So, with that being said, I was never in pursuit of anything but TROM-related-stuff for the past 10 or so years. I never joined any meetings anywhere (not even online, except let’s say 2 or so), and I never wanted to meet people in “real” life. Not even TROM people. I don’t know, but it was always uncomfortable for me. Just leave me alone. 😀

For the past 2-3 years I was a bit more lose in the sense that a few people said they want to visit me and I was like “eh….ok….will see”. Normally I won’t even reply to such messages. I realized that life is short and I spent more than 10 years alone in my room writing stuff and making videos. Why not try to taste from a different kind of lifestyle? And so Aaron ‘forced’ me to accept his invitation to visit me. 🙂 He came to visit me for 3 days, after we worked together for like 2 years online. He was the first TROM human I met. Then I thought, with him, to organize a TROM meeting in a few months time and invite some close-TROM-friends. So we did. I liked Aaron a lot. Such a great human.

Now, why was Sasha, Aaron?

Because I had no other interest in Sasha more than I had in Aaron or the other TROM people we invited in May. For me they were equally friends. TROM friends. No expectations like “Oh, let’s invite Sasha so maybe we get together and I finally have that girlfriend that I was dreaming all along.”. I had no such “visionary” projections about my future.

In any case, Sasha was one of those that were invited. She was happy. Very. And she came last out of all, arriving 1-2 days later in Spain, after hitchhiking from Russia. Crazy! This is when we all met her:

This is her and her backpack. Can you tell which one is which? Because I offered my help to carry that backpack up 1.448.566 stairs to the house where we would stay, and trust me I felt like carrying Sasha and her entire family all the way. I never in my life had to carry something as heavy as this backpack. This girl must be strong to carry that thing from Russia to Spain. Small but strong.

People came. We had fun for 3 weeks. Almost. I was kinda sick, peeing blood for like half the meeting. I thought that backpack bursted something inside me. In this meantime me and Sasha ended up together. Two planets from different solar systems, coalesced. How that happened? I don’t remember. I think one day I woke up and I was informed that me and Sasha were a “couple”. I was fine with that. It was quick. I was sick. I think I was taken advantage of. IDK. 🙂 – No, I am joking of course, we got really well together and it was unavoidable to coalesce. Gravity.

Before this meet-up several of us discussed about the possibility of moving together after the meeting was over. Only 3 of us (me, Sasha and Aaron) moved together right away. It took us 2 weeks to find an apartment in a town that’s 90% full of empty apartments for like 8 months a year. We were refused because we were not a family, we look too young, or we wouldn’t be able to prove that we have a steady income and such. It was an awful experience. We were lucky to find an apartment through my sister’s bosses that own a rental company.

Anyways, now me, Sasha, and Aaron moved together.

 

But it was the beginning of an end. Only 1 month after we moved together and the flowers were blooming in our young hearts, Sasha had to leave Spain. Why? Was she sick? A lesbian? Did Aaron and Sasha had a relationship behind my back? Did I start to snore too loud? Mnot. The thing is that in this society you can’t just live on Earth. When you are born here, then you can’t go there that easily, or at all. Imaginary borders are well maintained and supported by pillars of paper. They call them IDs, Passports, VISA (Vehement Inspection of the Soul and Ass), etc.. Sasha was born in one of the Earth’s ‘gardens’ called Russia. Then she hopped into USA. So she had 2 “nationalities”. But I was in Spain (Europe). She, russian-american, Me romanian-european. The truth is we were like oil and water in this society. We could not mix under its rules. The papers won’t allow for that. Sasha wrote a great blog about this Prison Earth we all are inmates of, so I highly suggest you go read that.

Sasha had to leave. USA? UK? No-way? She chose UK. Was closer to Spain and a friend of hers was beyond kind to let her stay there for free in her apartment. Just one month after we signed a 1-year contract for the apartment (rental), Sasha had to leave to UK and stay there for 3 months. The Europe prison says that someone from USA can only stay for 3 months in Europe and then leave Europe for 3 months in order to be able to come back for another 3. 3 is the number of the god europa, a bitch of the sea. UK is part of Europe (but not “properly”) – so Sasha was able to use that as a saving boat. Sasha leaving Spain was not as easy. I thought she was used to going places and sleeping in a tent :D, but the thought of leaving Spain so quickly and maybe having to go to US or somewhere else and work, put a toll on her and I saw her very sad. So sad I really got pissed at this society to the point of wanting to punch the society in the face. She was low on money so it was quite a bad situation. She was also in the middle of writing a book about her life and getting interrupted by these stupidities that our society is so proud of, is soul crushing. I “forced” her to create a fundraiser for her book and a Patreon (link). Fortunately a few kind people donated money. We were both kinda at the edge: financially, emotionally. Anyways, she left. She stayed there for 3 months. She didn’t have to work thanks to the donations she received and this friend of hers that was so nice. It was ok in the end.

The only positive part is that while she was there, we talked on the phone almost every night. I swear VISA made our relationship better. We got to be best friends and in no way we would accept this bullshit paperwork to split us apart in this idiocratic society. If this doesn’t sound like the start of a romantic movie, then I don’t know what. I call it Shrek 5: in the search of the lost queen.

The queen got back after 3 months and we had to quickly think of something to be able to stay together. This is a photo I took after we “recovered” her from the airport in Barcelona.

 

Now we were in Spain. Sasha could only stay for 3 months there. How can we fix this?

RIDDLE TIME:

We have 2 young (yes!) creatures on planet Earth. They are humans.

1. Sasha. Purple. She is labeled as russian-american.

20200114_224133

Places she can go to (source 1, 2):

This bitch can go everywhere around the world you might say. The red and blue is where she actually can go and stay, the rest are places where she can stay somewhere between a month and three months on average. The grey is “bitch you need to ask first and we may refuse you, and if we accept you, you won’t stay for long.”

1. Tio. Blue. He is labeled as romanian.

20200122_173219

Places he can go to (source 1)

Even this cunt can travel a lot with the romanian passport. But, except Europe, every other place on that map he can only visit for one to three months on average. The grey area is a no-no. Including USA and Russia, where the human number 1 can reside.

The following is an interactive map I really struggled to put together. Here is Planet Earth. The most gifted rock in the Universe. Purple and Blue want to be together. Live together on this rock. But how? I combined both of the above maps into one to showcase where Purple and Blue could stay together, because the above maps do no justice to the injustice. Those shades of green there may make people think that we could have lived together pretty much everywhere.

So. Let’s make it dark.

Where you see dark grey, those are the areas where we could have stayed (both of us) for a few days to up to 6 months maximum. That within a year, or less period of time. Simply put these dark grey areas are for tourists who go there to visit. On top of this, all of such dark grey places have their own rules (trades you have to respect) – so is not like you simply go there and all is fine. Or it’s not like it is so easy to access these places.

The black areas are areas where at least one of us can’t really go unless they get a VISA. And that’s usually difficult if not impossible to get for humans like us who do not have a job or money.

Blue is where blue can stay, but not purple (except for 3 months every 3 months). And purple is where purple can stay, but not blue (except if he gets a VISA for a period of time – months – which is difficult to get).

Now click on the map, on any tribe, to see where we could have stayed and how. The rules there. The conditions.

 

To my surprise there is ONE, 1, UNO, place where both of us could stay “forever” and ever and build our kingdom of TROM. That orange island there on top. The great island of Svalbard. It is the only place in the world where anyone can go. From anywhere. No VISA. No restrictions. Almost…What’s the catch?

  • Population somewhere over 2 thousand people. Few and in-between.
  • Very “wild” and cold. You need a proper jacket and a gun. And I mean it. It is required when you go out to either have a gun and know how to use it, or go with someone who has one and knows how to use it. Why? Polar bears. Fluffy and deadly.
  • It is expensive to go there. Flights alone are in the hundreds of euros.
  • It is difficult to get there. Likely you have to go through Norway (its mother land), so if you can’t access Norway then you can’t really access this place.
  • You can stay there if you can financially support yourself – being part of Norway you can be sure the life there is one of the most expensive in Europe.
  • You won’t have access to healthcare or other social systems unless (probably) if you pay for that which is (probably) super expensive.

In all, it is great to see that such a place exist, but in no way this would be an option for us. We would barely have the money to buy a ticket there. But then, unless we hunt polar bears with our bare hands, we could not make it. Here’s a cool video about the place:

Now, there are ways for you to go to most of the world’s tribes and live there. Like having a job there, or invest into a business, buy land or whatever. Meaning, if you have money you are able to go. But even then it is a bit complicated. We don’t have any jobs and are barely making a living so these are no options for us. We looked and looked and looked into ways of staying together on this planet and we could not find any that could work for both of us. Unless we decided to become 100% slaves and try to get a job – tho without a diploma (me) or a proper one (her), even that would have been nearly impossible.

What are our options then? Very few, if any. So, we decided to get “married”. This way the tribes seem to allow us to live in Europe at least. It is so ridiculous that a piece of paper that basically says “these two people are together” can be so important. If this isn’t Idiocracy then….. Needless to say that none of us ever gave a fuck about this marriage ritual. Most people on this Planet seem to be enslaved to this idea, even the most skeptical of them all are pray to it. Which is very weird to me. But if that’s the solution then fuck it. Let’s do the stupid ritual and have that paper that will allow the Purple inmate to live in Europe. Let’s try to see if Blue and Purple can live together.

RIDDLE TIME OVER. LET'S 'HACK' THE SOCIETY.

We were in Spain. Aaron left to Switzerland to work so that he can make some money to then be able to stop working for months (maybe even 1 year). Me and Sasha decided to try and get married in Spain. We had 3 months to solve this fuckery. We went to this special-building that deals with marriages. The woman gave us a list of what we need in order to get married in Spain. In short we needed:
 
  •  A valid “ID” card. Like your face and some letters and numbers that prove you are real and you are owned by this or that tribe. We had those. Passports.
  • Another document to prove you were born. Somewhere. We had them. Tho Sasha had to ask her father to send them from Russia…
  • A document to prove where I live in Spain and where Sasha lived for the past 2 years (in the bloody world). I have such a document. Sasha does not since she traveled around the world. She didn’t have a “place” to stay for the past 10+ years. Except here and there, rentals or mostly staying at people’s places. But this was an issue. However perhaps we could have lied about it.
  • A document to prove that you are not married. I mean….what the fuck. Aren’t “authorities” suppose to know that. Why are they asking you for an ID card and all that when you get married, to then not know if some citizens are married or not. How come I have to prove it? Anyways, this was a paper we needed to take from our tribe’s embassies. Costly and for mine would have taken about 3 months to be “delivered”. Too long. Sasha could only stay for 3 months in Spain and she was already there for a few weeks already (time it took us to go here and there and ask around for what we need).
  • Another document to prove that you are ABLE to get married. Ha.ha.Ha.hA. ha. Lord Jizas. They are serious about this shit. But it is for real. There is such a document. I don’t know what that means but….well…haha. We probably could get this one too, though would have taken a while to get it from our tribes.

The really cunty thing about it was that Sasha needed to have documents for both of her nationalities. In Russian and English. From both tribes. That would have been really difficult and complicated. More than that, we were obliged to translate all of the documents for both of us (of course, since our species can’t even talk one universal language). Despite all that, we tried….but we realized that we can’t do it in a 3 months time-frame. We also noticed that when you submit the marriage papers in spain, you have to be interviewed….Maybe they would ask us what are our favorite colors or foods. I don’t know what these people are up to, but to me this all smells like Hitlerism. The entire situation. We were also in great difficulty regarding the Spanish language and its many dialects, because we struggled to both understand these motherfuckers and talk to them.

Spain was kinda impossible. Let’s try Romania.
 
Our last option was to go to Romania and get married there. I hated this. Oh man…I hated. Look….I hate Romania so much, and I hate it even more when I know the people there who are so religious and culturally smashed, that I feel like I am going back 4.667 years when I get there. Yes, there are interesting people there and it’s hard to judge a tribe just by looking at a few members, but from my experience it is a very backwards culture overall. And you won’t feel it that deeply if you don’t get to live there. I mean, it is the same environment that made me want to hang myself in highschool. I ran away from that environment. I don’t want to go back. Especially going there to “get married”. Let me tell you something, in Romania 3 things are extremely important in everyone’s life: cars, houses, and weddings. All sprinkled with pseudoscience (beliefs). If you have these 3, you are living the life. If one is missing, you might be a failure. A Romanian in their 20s wants a car and a wedding, and in their 30s a house and kids. In their 40s they are confused, and after 50s they argue with their TV, not even giving a damn that no one listens to them. In their 70s and they simply wait for the end of their life.
 
Side note: I don’t think romanians like having kids that much. It’s more like “I had to do it”. So I won’t list that as a “must” despite everyone having kids.:P
 
But weddings are a THING in romania. You think about them years in advance, even before meeting your soul-mate. My parents used to have something called “zestre” for me and my sister. These were “objects” (stuff), that was put aside for when we get married. Carpets, plates, forks and knives, bed sheets and maybe even house flip-flops and pajamas. They were stored in our old balcony. The 4th floor of the building. We were not allowed to touch them. They were new. They were waiting for us. Collecting dust. They were sold eventually, or used for us or for bribes….I think my parents realized we were not normal kids and we won’t get married anyways. How wrong were they, right!?
 
So once you find your soul-mate, after going through a few cunts and bitches and a few STDs, you finally realize that your soul-mate is like that Happy Meal toy: looks great on TV and on the Mec’s shelf, but once you start using it you realize it is of a very poor quality and boring as fuck. But hey….you are getting old and your parents keep on telling you to “find the one” and “keep ‘it'”. So you do. You talk to the one and plan for the “unification”. Must be in June-July, 2 years from now. It is warm and people might not be so busy with their jobs, so more people may come to your wedding. You see, in Romania weddings are not just a celebration, they are a business. You plan ahead what restaurant to rent, what nameless (but ‘famous’) band to hire, what food to serve (must be exotic and named in ways that you can’t pronounce). And compare all that with how many people you may invite (usually over 100) and how much money to ask them for the invite. Yes. In Romania when you are invited to a wedding, it is not free. They will tell you up-front how much it costs. Usually around 100 Euros per person. For a few hours of eating and drinking and listening to very loud and very awful music. But look, once you accept the invite, the ones getting married have an obligation to come to your wedding too. So it is an investment.
 
With the date settled, you hunting for the “stuff” you need (food, food, drinks and drinks, music and a restaurant), you need clothes. Expensive and disposable. Fuck the guy. The girl stuff is the expensive one by far. How much? A quick online search shows this:

On this website you see prices that average somewhere around 3 to 4.000 lei. “lei” means “lions” in Romanian language and it is also the official currency. So, how many lions equals one elephant? Well, 4.000 lions is around 1.000 Euros. Or, like my grandma used to say, almost twice the average salary in Romania. And look at this price range on the same website:

So the prices range from 400 Euros to 1.100 Euros. And people in Romania, despite living in one of the poorest tribes in Europe, keep buying these disposables. A wedding normally costs several thousand euros. But you can make the money back from the “guests”. 200 people paying 100 to 200 euros to come + the “gift” they each HAVE to give you, means that you are making the money back. The “gift” is another Romanian thing. At a wedding everyone is “obliged” to give a gift to the glued-ones. That means money usually. A few hundreds more. Some give them thousands.

Weddings in Romania are a very distasteful business. And they dare to make 2 of these. One is the official one where you sign the gluing paper that recognizes your relationship as “marriage”, and the religious one where they involve the creator of the universe. That’s the main one for which you need all of those preparations.

I am telling you that so you understand how hypnotized Romanians are with this weird and pucky ritual.

Anyways, fuck that. Back to us.

So, knowing how big of a deal this wedding stupidity is in Romania, I really didn’t want to go there. Of course we would not do those primitive and idiotic things, but we will be forced to do the “official” ceremony and since I am from a very small town where everyone’s hobby is to gossip about others, then people will find out that I am getting married and I’d have to put up with their primitiveness. But well, we had no choice. We had to do this, so we booked flights to Romania on the 30st of December. My parents were already in Romania (they migrate from Spain to there every winter since there’s nothing for them to work here in that period of time).

So. We are packing our bags and I am trying not to lose my mind because I feel like going to a shithole hell. I wanted to make a documentary about this ridiculous situation. I filmed some stuff and took some photos here and there, but overall I was very disturbed mentally to be able to focus on such things. Plus, I didn’t want to compromise our situation with this….

the adventure in romania

Bus from our small town in Spain, to a near by one. Wait 1h for another bus. From there to Barcelona. 4.5 hours drive. Traffic jam in Barcelona. The bus was ok. No one wears seatbelts except us and an old british couple that I saw. People think they are invincible in buses. Well, ok. We arrive at the airport and for me these places are one of the most polluted on Earth. Polluted with stupidity and abuse. You feel like a proper inmate there. You are a subordinate. You are scared not do do any “wrong” move or have an “improper” attitude. It is the human version of a livestock factory. Everyone there is so serious and the prices for food and drinks are 5 times higher than in that tribe. It is a rip-off. A scam. A prison. A place where you won’t find any humans. Seems like everyone is a robot. A mindless machine. Here and there you may see a heavily armed robot. As if these places are the battle ground of an invisible war. Not to mention how charlatans these airline companies are. We used WizzAir. This company is so awful that customers made a website called wizzairsucks.com. Buying a plane ticket feels like and endless stream of additional services. Feels like doing your taxes. Feels like a puzzle. Feels like crawling naked through a stream of mouse traps. You want insurance? A car to pick you up from the airport? Priority checking? A better seat? Chewing gum? A massage? A handjob? A subscription to stewardess porn? You name it, these fuckers are not an airline company, they are a service-selling company and you are their customer. That’s all. The “continue” (next) button on their website (while you fill in your information) is always hidden underneath a mountain of such “options” layered with a ton of colorful ads.

 

Then, they dare to tell us that you HAVE to buy a seat in order to continue. Despite not being mandatory they make it look like so. Just read the bellow message we were faced with:

I think this image says it all. Man, “capitalistic” morons may really enjoy this option-full society we live in. So wonderful. We had to “risk” it and not buy seats at the expense of checking in (whatever-the-fuck-that-means) only 48h before the flight. That was our punishment for getting 2 free seats….for the tickets we just bought. Imagine if bus tickets would be as fucked up as plane tickets. And after they check your face, your documents, face again, documents…be aware not to trigger the metal detector…strip yourself of your belongings and walk a shit ton through a maze of gates, shops, and scared people….you sit in a narrow seat for a few hours being greeted by mildly sexy flight attendants that only want to sell you more shit at 4 times the normal price. No thanks. I sucked your cock so much, I don’t need a salad and a perfume.

Anyways. Airlines are the top most charlatans of them all.

We are on our way. We land in Romania. There my parents wait for us with a relative with a car. It is 3am. 31st of December. The “New Year’s Eve” they call it. Me and Sasha give no fuck. We drive for 4 hours from Bucharest to “my Romanian little town”. The driver wears no seat belt. It is foggy, cold, dark, and the traffic/roads are awful like usually in Romania. The seat belt still makes little sense for the driver. My parents brought sandwiches and some traditional Romanian sweets for me and Sasha. Very nice. Very good. They are good people. I hear them talk about politics, jobs, normal stuff. I listen. I ignore. I want to arrive home. Sasha sleeps. She does that all the time when we travel :D. That’s good. For her :)). I can’t really sleep in a bus, plane, or car. I need to be there to see what’s happening. There bothers me. I can only sleep here, in my own place.

We arrive. Home is nice. Home is our apartment in Romania. My parents invested pretty much most of their money that they make here in Spain into that apartment (not a lot tho). It is a Romanian thing. You work abroad and build your nest home. They did a good job. The apartment is cozy, spacious, nice. Nothing exaggerated. Minimalist I’d say. And cozy as fuck :D. Basically my parents and my sister put money into that apartment. I didn’t really. I never had money for helping with this. I feel a bit bad but it is what it is.

We took a nap. We woke up in the evening. My parents “prepared” everything for this New Year’s Eve. Again, me and Sasha don’t care about such events, but ok…nice for them to do these. We went quickly to my grandma’s house where some relatives live (my grandparents died a few years ago). I saw Mike. He is the “hand” from TROM Documentary :D. When I created TROM he was there. He is my cousin and he was my only friend for many years. He got a bit trapped in this weird trade society for the past years so we didn’t stay in touch that much for these past years. I was happy to see him. We came back home. My parents had presents for us waiting underneath the Christmas tree. Sasha insisted we also buy some gifts (nothing expensive) for them from Spain. We exchanged gifts. It was nice. I was ok with these.

I invited Mike over. It was me, Sasha, Georgi (my sister), Mike, and my parents. We were eating something. Nice food. Nice everything. Then, around 00:00 my parents went into “waiting for the countdown” mode. Tun in to the TV. Open the champagne. I hear my father saying something about having money in the pocket so the New Year “sees” you with that and you will be lucky the entire year – you’ll have more money. All of this kinda smacked me into the face realizing that this is not my world. And I don’t want to be part of this. Till then it was ok, but then I kinda realized that these little moments, repeated many times over my lifetime, made me angry at this society and people in general. These “little” things that to me showcase how people don’t really care about what’s real. They hold onto all kinds of weird beliefs and simply record and stream them forward. Mechanisms for this consuming culture.

A week, no progress. Since slaves (unfortunately for them) work all year, they will get a break for a few days in this period of time. They call them holy-days. Nothing holy about them tho. So, we could not do anything in the first week when the slaves had a break.

the adventure in romania: the journey of papers

First, we go to this “official” place to ask exactly what we need for the marriage. A small room with old furniture. Two women there. Often they were eating. They were moderately nice. They said we need:

  • birth certificates for both of us (Sasha has to translate her Russian birth certificate into Romanian)
  • passports (Sasha has to translate her American passport into Romanian)
  • a medical paper (hm…yes…) – to showcase we are capable of marriage (ha-ha-ha)
  • a paper to prove that Sasha is not married
  • two declarations from Sasha that say the same thing that she is not married, she is alive, has a vagina, and will respect the Romanian laws

Proving that Sasha is Sasha

We need to go to Bucharest (4 hours away from Horezu – the town I’m from) to the American embassy to get that paper showing that Sasha is Sasha and she is not married. We read online that there is no such paper in the US…so what now? They say they will give us another one, like a declaration from Sasha about all of these. We hope it works. We go to Bucharest and stay there for 1 night in an airbnb so we can go in the morning at the embassy. We take an old bus and we get over-charded. But fuck it.

There, in Bucharest at the US embassy, a “beautiful” building guarded by a big Romanian dude with a big gun. He only let’s Sasha in and tells her to leave everything with me, outside, including her phone. Outside was very cold. I am waiting across the street, freezing. Sasha is inside – she had to raise her right hand and “swear” in front of authorities there that she is over 18 and not married and she agrees to marry with me. The funny thing is that Sasha’s name is Russian (Alexandra Davletshina Rashidovna) but her last “residency” was in Hawaii. So, imagine this, in Romania (an unknown tribe from Europe), a Russian citizen raises her hand in a US embassy and says: “Me, Alexandra Davletshina Rashidovn, from Kamehameha Haleiwa Hawaii, want to get married to this long-named-romanian-citizen.” Hilarious. And Jezus Christ of Nazareth, this world is primitive as fuck. It is scary. She stays there for about 1h, but she manages to get that holy paper.

We go back to Horezu with the paper. One of those women looks over it and says it is not good…we explain that’s the only thing the US can give to us. She “flips” the page of the document and there it is: a paragraph (a short one) basically saying “This declaration/paper is the only thing US can provide bla bla bla…” and that seemed to have done the trick. The woman accepts it as “true”. Magic!

Translating the papers

We talk to this dude in Horezu that has a tiny office in a very shady place. His business is to officially translate documents from ANY language. We should have tried him with a Swahili….My parents dealt with this one eventually, and managed to get the papers translated. Overall they were the ones doing most of the lifting with the paperwork. Huge thanks to them. So they go there, they pay, they translate the papers. They need to be both translated and “legalized”. Like someone has to translate them and someone else needs to put a stamp on them. Both cost. But we have them a few days later.

We don’t have AIDS

Next thing is to go to a private clinic, that ironically is across the street of the big governmental public hospital, to get tested for HIV. It costs less than 10 Euros for both of us. I have no clue what’s the deal with this test, but I am happy Sasha is clean haha. Or is she?

We go to this small room where mostly old people were waiting to either get some results form the tiny private clinic, or ask for tests. And it was a very sad sight. Here in Spain, with this healthcare system that’s free, you are assigned to a “general” doctor where you go to complain: my head hurts, I’m puking violet, I might have another penis, I am pregnant, etc.. This doctor is a “good-and-knowledgeable-friend” that can then advise you, treat you, or send you for tests or to specialists. It works. And you never talk about money because it is free. In that Romanian clinic it was the opposite. A young girl at the counter was advising these old people what blood tests to do based on a brief listening to their complaints in a sea of other people waiting in line, talking to each other. Two rooms there: one at the entrance where people were “ordering” their tests, and one clearly marked with a Jesus icon on top of the door, where the blood and urine were collected. I think that’s all they did, the two fluids of the universe: blood and pee. I remember one old lady saying that she feels pain here and there and everywhere and wants a “full” set of tests. And the young woman at the counter saying “yes, let’s do them “all””. And the old lady had to pay around 100 Euros only for the tests. That could easily be half of her pension. This is not healthcare. This is not science. This is witchcraft and a market. For one, there are no such thing as “all” tests, especially when it comes to blood or urine tests. There are tons of such tests, trying to detect a plethora of things. Never “one”. This is so ridiculous. And second, to charge people so much money for such tests, is inhumane. These are old and sick people, and companies take advantage of them. The Romanian healthcare system is a “free” one as far as I can tell, like in Spain, but since doctors are used to take bribes and overall Romania is a shithole, people prefer to go to the private clinics that may offer a better waiting room and better hopes for the clients. And third, blood and urine or any other tests mean NOTHING unless you have a system that will deal with the results. To fix the problem. “Oh, hi m’am, we did this blood tests and we are pretty sure you have cancer. Now, good luck with that ’cause we don’t deal with the treatment. We only tell you what’s wrong with you.”.

Anyway. We go there. We give them our blood. The results come the next day. Interestingly my father could go there to pick up the results…I mean, these are personal medical results how come they agree for someone else to come pick them up? We take the results (we don’t even know what are the results) and we go to my Romanian family doctor with them. We pay for all of these things. There, an old waiting room. Looks like USSR. Looks awful. Inside the cabinet there she is. The lady. The legend. The woman. The doctor. The She. A female general-practitioner in her 60s (probably), who recently had a stroke, staying in her doctor office listening to Rihanna and smoking. I swear! You don’t get a better Romanian experience than this.

I managed to take that photo. It is unbelievable that a doctor smokes in the office. There were kids in the waiting room….She looked at Sasha and said “Yeah I wanted to see her. She looks good. Congratulations!”. And we left with the medical papers from there. Great job, doc!

Declare again….

So, with the passports and birth certificates (translated), with the paper from the embassy, with the medical papers….all that was not enough. Now, we had to go to a special office where Sasha had to give 2 declarations. That she is she (again), and that she will respect the Romanian laws and she accepts marrying with me….For this they required us to “rent” a translator. A certified one. We go to a nearby town (1h away), in this little office to do the declarations. It takes them around 3 hours to do them because for one they didn’t understand why 2 and not 1, so they had to call the Horezu women and ask them. And second because one of these women’s kids (from that tiny office) was sick and she had to leave from time to time. In this time the translator came. She was young, around our age. Her English was not that great, but whatever. BUT….and I will apologize for saying this because this girl was very nice and calm, but she was a Piñata of bullshit. Piñata are these colorful “things” that people put all kinds of candies inside, and others (usually kids) have to smash them with a bat. IDK why, but whatever. This translator was full of conspiracy theories, horoscopes, after-life theories, nutritional advice, alternative medicine and so forth, that if you were to smack her with a bat, you’ll see the cream of the bullshit falling from inside her. The moment we met, she said she will read our “horoscope” and tell us about ourselves based on our date of birth. She talked non-stop about these fucked up things, about her life, about nothingness. For 2 hours. Me and Sasha felt abused. Raped mentally.

 

At one point I started to get into conspiracy theories too, thinking that someone plays a prank on me and tests me with this – like maybe they hired an actress to fuck with me (as if I’m that important for anyone to pull this prank on me…). But considering I am a “soldier” of the army of debunking bullshit (see TROM and all I do), having to face this Piñata was perhaps the most painful thing I had to observe since I didn’t want to comment much if at all about her BS because I didn’t want to upset her and maybe have no translator to help us with the paperwork. A compromise nearly impossible for me to accept. But I did….

Anyways it was only 10 Euros for her service, but I felt like losing 10 billion neurons at the same time. We get those 2 declarations, since those were the last we needed.

Passports, birth certificates, medical papers, embassy paper, declarations. Fuckin’ christ. Now that’s it. We go back to the original-office with all of the papers. They look through them. And look….check to see if these 2 humans can be glued officially together or not. See if the papers match the creatures. It is almost like scientists trying to describe the atom, not by looking at it and analyze the thing directly, but by looking at some papers that describe the atom and try deny the existence of the atom or some of its properties since the papers don’t agree with the reality. And that happened to us because they looked at the papers and faced a dilemma: Sasha’s name has 3 names :D. You know the last name and the second name or whatever. Family name, and your name. That weird combination we all have. So her name is A B C. Russia may recognize her family name as A and the B as her last name, where C is what you inherit from your father in terms of name. The US, does it differently, and Romania does it like US perhaps. So, all in all her Russian birth certificate was translated into Romanian as A B and her US passport was translated as A B C. So, those 2 didn’t match. Big-f-deal. But for them it was a big deal and they said they refuse to merge us together. We called the translator that translated the birth certificate and that woman clearly explained that she translated it correctly. So everything was legal. It was simply an issue with how tribes interpret one’s name. Sasha was physically there, and we had the original papers and their translations, but the papers didn’t match so Sasha didn’t exist basically. See? The atom is there, you just have to look at it and describe it. But that’s the opposite of how our society works. Our society looks at papers in order to define the reality.

It was a funny situation (if real, and I think it was real) where in Romania someone was wrongly declared as dead. Now the guy goes to authorities to complain about that, but since it was declared dead already, he was unable to make any complaint about it. I don’t remember what happened to the guy, but it you are declared dead then you are fucked since you basically cannot live in this imagined paper-based society humans built.

Anyways. We had to kinda bribe the translator to translate the birth certificate wrongly in order to match the passport. Another wait, another spending. My mom also had to bribe the women in that office to kind accept this situation as such…

FINALLY.

All of the paperwork was in our possession. We submit that. It is approved. On 31st of January the great merging will occur. I am asked how we want to split the goods, I say “m’am I only have a laptop on my name and she has hers; I think 50’50 is a good deal; we just keep our laptops”. 😀

We are a month in with this bullshit in Romania but at least we are close to be done with it. 31st of January is a week after we submit the papers. We are way more relaxed but the entire thing puts a toll on me (and on Sasha too of course), but I am close to having a mental breakdown.

The clash of values.

From the beginning, since we decided to do this bullshit marriage thing, I was very clear with everyone around me that we correctly label this nonsense as “bullshit”, so we don’t care about anything more than hacking this society in order to stay together. More to that, everyone who knew me (my relatives, family, ‘old friends’) should have known I don’t give a shit about such things. I poke fun at such things all the time actually. Despite all that, people who found out about the “event” (I never told anyone I think, but well…small city, bored people) started to congratulate us. Even my parents took it seriously and at one point I was asked if I need help to buy “rings”. Look, these people seem nice and that’s how they express themselves. They don’t grasp the fact that marriage is not only an invention (imagination), but an abuse. Me and Sasha were abused into this stupidity in order to let us stay together. Live on this planet together. And now we get these “congratulations” from people. Tell me, how can I react to that!? Because I felt a mix of feelings from extremely sad to furious. It is like in China you may only be able to stay together with a partner that has a social credit above 700, and you struggle to get your credit score above that in order to live together, while at the same time protesting about this abusive rule. Yet, your relatives congratulate you for achieving that above 700 social score. How does this sound? Because it is the same with the marriage. Where is the difference? We wouldn’t have done this stupidity ever if we were not without options.

So yeah, seeing how people around us take this seriously was extremely frustrating because I also could not be a jerk and get angry when they congratulated us so I had to fake a sad “thanks” at the corner of my mouth. But I really felt like being trapped in a horror movie where people are not humans, they are robots with whom you cannot talk. With my parents it was a game of “let’s pretend you care and I don’t” that we kinda respected as much as possible until one morning, a few days before the gran’ event, when my mother asks me what I will wear for the event, and I said that I don’t care, these things are stupid and I simply left the conversation. My family got very upset at me for that, but I was simply at the edge of my sanity there. Like…I have to go through all of this bullshit with papers, with delaying my TROM projects, with spending money, with pretending to be part of the mindless norm, and all that, and now you want me to be a clown? Like, “Hey, at that abusive event, what are you gonna wear?”. A few tears and loud voices later inside the family, an unnecessary development, and we agree to please my parents and talk to them about what the clowns are going to wear. Again, my parents are nice people, and without them we would have had great difficulties solving this problem, but their values are not in line with ours. They didn’t fully understand why we are doing this. In any case, we agree to wear some “respectful” clothes to not trigger the zombies when we go there. I was wearing a t-shirt from my sister (it was a male-shirt that she had), and Sasha a “traditional” Romanian “thing” and my sister’s boots and jacket. We are pretty now. Everyone seems ok with us. Let’s play pretend.

THE DAY

A day before “the day” I had to pull myself together and try to control myself because I felt like I want to kill someone. I pushed myself away from society from age 15 or so. Rarely interacting with the normality. And now I get to interact with the most nonsensical of stupidities. I faked it a lot and I felt like I could not handle it anymore. Then, a day before the event I convinced myself that the world is not a tragedy. It is a comedy. These people are hilarious. They are retarded. Idiotic. But hilarious. Like, look at the fuckers….they want us to pretend as if we get “glued” by papers. By swearing. By writing with a pen on a piece of paper. By saying “yes”. Ha.ha.Ha. Let’s just take it as a comedy.

 

My parents bought cookies and flowers and champagne for the event. We are ready. Since we needed the translator again (the Pinata), she arrived in the morning and my mother dealt with her. They went for a coffee. The event is at 12PM. We get dressed. We need 2 “witnesses”. My parents are the ones for the job since it is only going to be us and my parents, and maybe Georgi (my sister) for the fun of it. We go there. Then, in about 5 minutes after we arrived, I see my mother’s sister coming there with flowers. Dressed-up. I’m dying. Yes, she in her own right is nice towards us, coming there for the event, but like I explained it is like we celebrate an abuse. They don’t get that. But I do. I’m like ok…the world is a comedy….just stay calm for 30 more minutes. That’s all…

We go inside the building and I hear this woman (my mother’s sister) saying that we should wait for the others. THE OTHERS? What the fuck. Apparently more relatives are coming. Including Mike. MIKE! Why? Out of everyone I didn’t expect Mike to come since he should understand this is a bullshit thing. I was having tears of anger inside my face about all of this. No one told us this is is going to happen. What a shit-show. A bunch of relatives arrived, they are 10 times more dressed up than me and Sasha, and of course they bring flowers and congratulate us. I feel like a clown in a prison. I feel humiliated by the society. Is the world a comedy? I’m struggling to laugh.

They are there. It is what it is. Fuck it. Let’s get done with it.

Now the mayor is coming…Jezus Christ…ok….

He comes there and the first thing he asks me is who are the Godfather and Godmather. I’m like….EH? Like…and I look around….I see Mike and Georgi and I signal them to come over. I don’t know what the fuck are Godmothers and Godfathers but that worked.

And it starts. We face the mayor. He faces us. He says that first we need to listen to some music….a “nicely dressed woman” pushes with fashion the play button of a very old music player (big, I think it still uses cassettes). Here’s a recording of that – I blurred it intentionally so you don’t see our sad faces while we are being executed.

We were very amused by that cringey moment. Then the music stops suddenly. And the procedure begins. The mayor reads some stuff from a piece of paper and declares us “husband and wife”. Wow. That’s it. We sign some papers. Everyone stares at us. They open a champagne and bring the cookies. It is a 10 minutes cringey moment (again), of people sipping champagne from plastic disposable glasses, and licking a cookie. At the same time congratulating us and taking some photos with us. We force a smile or two because all is done now so we are at least happy for that.

At one point the mayor asks Sasha what religion she is. My mother, being her, screams from the other side of the room “they are atheist”. A bit of a silence in the room…the mayor is surprised and proceeds by lecturing me that even the great Pascal said: “If there is a God and we pray then that’s good; but if there is a God and we don’t pray…isn’t that risky?”. I was about to punch him in the face with either my fist or an argument. Like…my friend….if there is a God and all he wants is for people to pray to him then that’s a PIMP,  not a god. But I didn’t want to cause any problems for anyone. I wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. Look, I was never the one who will shut’up in such moments. I will bark some science there. Fuck the mayor or anyone. I don’t care. But this time I really didn’t want to fuck things up and create a brawl. I sucked society’s dick so far, I can suck it for a few more minutes. The conversation quickly melted away after he also bragged a bit about how great Romania and Romanian people are, and how intelligent and such.

Now we wanted to go home but these people that came there….like…what can I do with them? I felt bad for them. To see them so dressed up and coming there and now, 10 minutes later, send them home. But I didn’t invite anyone…so…For sure it took them more time to get ready than it did for me and Sasha. We went outside and we slowly moved away from them. Me, Sasha, Georgi, Mike and the Pinata went to a bar to eat something. The Pinata had to come to us from an 1h away town, so she was waiting for the bus. I thought let’s give her something to eat first. She was nice, again. But man she was crazy. She even said if she can stay 2 more days at our place now that she came to this city….eh…no. Sorry. But what the fuck….She likes hugging trees, picks up clues from the outside world to guide herself, is looking for her soulmate, can read horoscopes and can heal herself of viruses just through the power of her mind. So, no thanks. She seems to complicated for our taste.

We go home. Me and Sasha are so happy now that everything is over. What we don’t know is that it isn’t.

Next morning my parents throw a “party” for these other people who came to the ceremony and had to go back home in 10 minutes. For our relatives. At my grandma’s house. Just a barbecue to be honest, but still something I won’t ever like to be part of. I didn’t want to be a jerk so I went there with Sasha to say hi. A bunch of relatives there. They, of course, congratulated us even more intensively. One of them, who is also a chemistry teacher, gave us a present. A Jezus icon….

From shitting on these values to being sad and feeling sorry about that.

This entire experience made me super super sad the last days of this entire circus. I perhaps never felt so sad in my life. It was an extreme mix of primitive and crazy values (zombie people) + extreme kindness. I almost felt like crying at the thought of laughing at such a present and the human that gave it to me to see me doing that. Because their intentions are good and kind. I don’t want to shit on this. But at the same time I am annoyed to the extreme by all of these rituals that have nothing to do with reality. To see them celebrate our enslavement to this society. It was very tough for me mentally to get dragged through all of this. I got to feel closely how humans are, unfortunately, not humans. Yet at the same time not wanting to make fun of their values there and then. Just to accept that sadly this is the reality and try not to upset them. Imagine this human who say puts a bit of an effort and kindness and happiness into going out there to buy something for Dani. The human wraps the package nicely and is happy to go give Dani the present. Dani thanks the human. Then when the human is not around Dani opens the package. It is a religious icon. Dani laughs and says how stupid it is. Even throws the thing away. If the human would see this, would be soul crushing. Like a cliff of happiness (buying the present, giving the present), being crushed suddenly by such an attitude. That would suck. And I didn’t want to do that. So I chose not to make too much fun of this ridiculous situation we’ve been put into. At least not that much or there, so that I won’t hurt anyone. At times me and Sasha were laughing in my room about all of these situations we were forced into, and my parents would hear us and thought we laugh at them, especially since they don’t understand english. That made me feel very bad.

RIDDLE TIME OVER. ALMOST

Let’s see. In order for me and Sasha to be allowed to stay together we had to go through a shit ton of papers and offices and eventually get married. Pay money (over 1.000 euros in total), go this place, that place, ask for this and that. Swear in front of authorities. Play by their rules. Translate shit. Wait. Travel. Wait. Travel.

But. Now that the marriage is done, can Sasha live with me in Europe? In Spain? We read on the Europe’s official website the following:

“If you are married or in a registered partnership with an EU citizen that is living, working, studying or looking for a job in an EU country different from the one they come from, EU rules make it easier for you to join them there.” (source) Luckily I “live” in Spain….

Based on this, I understand that if Sasha wants to stay with me for more than 3 months she needs a residence card. Let’s see how to obtain it:

So basically we have to go to an Immigration Office or Police Station with a Form (EX-19) that we cannot find. The link there doesn’t work. The links from official Spanish gov websites do not work. We found it with the WayBack Machine….Anyway. That form + a valid passport + my Spanish residency card + proof of the family link. We had all of these documents already. Sasha is allowed to stay in Spain for 3 months in a period of 6 months. She already stayed in Spain for almost 3 months in the last 6 months period of time. From our calculations she could have come back to Spain for 9 more days till her VISA expires. We thought 9 days is enough to submit those papers, since once you submit them they will extend the VISA till they give her a residency card. So we thought in those 9 days when we go back we submit the papers and that’s it. Ok. Done. Booked plane tickets. Happy and relaxed that we go back to Spain.

We managed to take a van from this city to the airport directly. Nice. Ok ride. Great car. We had to wait in front of the police station for it (no bus station for this one). Weird but normal in Romania.

Before leaving Romania let me tell you a few random things about it. Of course based mainly on this small town we lived in.

stray dogs

I complained about this before. But it is worth complain again because it is such a weird sight to see these massive “wolfs” on the streets. It makes going for a walk a challenge because you never know when they’ll simply jump at you. Here are some videos from the little town we lived it (not taken by me):

This is a video I filmed from our balcony. These dogs want to eat cars. You can’t even drive properly. Just wait till the guy gets into the car and drives away.

everyone for themselves

In Spain, everywhere you go, it looks like Spain. The infrastructure. Roads. Buildings. Services. And so on. In Romania is the opposite. Even in that little town you’ll see 10 types of road signs, 20 types of garbage bins, 40 types of sidewalks, unlimited types of street lights, and so forth. Look at this street sign (I haven’t seen such a stupidity – like how are drivers suppose to read this one while they are driving?):

I think there is a business with garbage bins in that city because you either see none or a dozen of them packed in a tiny space. As an example only on this street to you will find “recyclable” bins. And it is a mockery because they are of a very poor quality and no one uses them properly. How can you have such garbage cans to recycle paper when it can rain in those things. Or glass. Or how do you empty them to recycle? I bet no one cares about them. It was just a business. It is so clear when they put a fuck ton on a tiny street. See the video:

Like look how in this very tiny park there are a ton of garbage bins. And don’t tell me they put them in order to keep the place clean because that’s ridiculous.

This is a random park in Spain of similar size. Look at how many garbage bins there are there:

One more. This is a newly built street by this new mayor. He is proud of it. Just a 200 meter street (sidewalk) that’s full of garbage bins every 2 meters or so.

Look at this house. A corner of it eats half of the sidewalk. Hilarious.

They put these cemented things on sidewalks where people would park their cars illegally. Haha. Apparently laws do not work. Now neither cars or people can go on these sidewalks. Brilliant.

You’ll see there 10 really old houses and then 2 palaces. The contrast between the rich and the poor is something you cannot miss. Also, I think 2 out of 5 houses are unfinished in Romania. It is incredible….

We also found a little kid…we were walking home from our “marriage party” when we saw a little kid (2 years old or so) across the street, about to go into the street. Confused. I didn’t think twice, I crossed the street and took the kid. Tried to ask him where the parents are so maybe he can point to somewhere. But no way, he was too confused. I felt so sorry for him. Interestingly he was in front of the police station and across the street from a busy gas station. Employees from the gas station saw the kid for several minutes but did nothing. That’s to show how these people don’t really care or they are simply not willing to interact with any situation that is outside their own shit. We took the kid straight inside the police station. The guys thanked us and tried to figure out what’s up with the kid. We left after a while. We have no idea what happened to the kid. Sorry for the little guy. I really hope his parents didn’t let him on purpose there in front of the police station to abandon him.

people are crazy

Look at this “sacred” place…you tell me sane people are living near by?

Here’s our boi Jesus taking care of criminals soldiers.

the air quality is as good as smoke

Look at this photo. That’s not fog. That’s smoke. People are burning everything they can and the entire town smells like smoke. It is awful. Even opening the window of our 4th floor apartment is a challenge.

the nature is a garbage bin

This is the closest nature to that town. It was a place we used to go when we were kids and despite being a garbage bin back there too, now it is 5 times worse. Dead animals, clothes, plastic, poop. Everything thrown there, amongst the sad trees that are wondering what kind of world this is.

people are lazy

Here in Spain it is normal for us to go for a 10km walk every other day. Using your legs is part of our routine. But in that town in Romania, people take their car to go to a supermarket that’s 500m away from their place. Not only that, these “kings” use home delivery for buying fast-food. They sit almost across the street from the fast food, yet they order food at home. Can’t even go and buy it. It is so funny. Here’s a real photo of them:

the parts we enjoyed

I loved the apartment. As I said it is very cozy. Warm inside. You need no slippers. Soft carpets :). Calm. Relaxed. My room is the smallest but it is fine. It has a window opening to the balcony where we often stayed. The view from the balcony is nice. You can see the sunset and Venus every night. My mother makes the best cookies I’ve ever eaten and my father would go out to buy something any time you need anything. Or simply he would go for you anywhere anytime. Go to this other 1h away town to get us some papers? No worries, he goes, no questions asked. My parents are very good people, and despite us seeing the world through different brains, we still have things in common and I enjoy my relationship with them. Mike and Georgi are really great friends and they were there. I loved when we watched some cool documentaries in the livingroom, all of us. Then discuss about them. Sasha even wrote a poem in the Romanian language and read it for all of us to hear at the New Year’s Eve. Hilarious as fuck and surprising as fuck. We laughed like nuts.

And look, you’ll find beautiful places in Romania for sure. And very kind people and all that. Yes, overall I think it is a not-very-good-to-live-place, and that’s unfortunate for people there. Human beings (call them romanians) are whatever the environment pushes them to be. I complain about them but I understand what makes them like that. And I dream to one day be the president of Romania and transform this shithole into a smart paradise and give it as an example to the world so we can change every tribe out there. And I mean it, I fantasize about such things :D. If there was a chance to change the world through politics, I’d give it a try. I would love to help every romanian. Make the healthcare system the best in the world so everyone has access the the greatest and most human healthcare. Transform the transportation entirely. Take care of the natural places Romania has. And a huge fuck more. Of course, we need to think globally as humans, not as romanians and such.

BACK TO US. BACK TO SPAIN.

We arrive in Spain. Finally. Dima and Mara, great TROM friends, wait for us with their car at the airport. Makes it much easier to get back home. We arrive. We are so happy to be back. Next day we go out. Green, sunny, blue sky, blue sea. Look at us, happily married. :)) (stupid joke)

I am happy to meet Dima and Mara. Happy to get that Microsoft Surface Table to test TROMjaro on it. Happy to be back. Oh yeah, “that” tablet. Sasha has a tablet that she didn’t use anymore. A Microsoft Surface Pro from 2013. She had it in Russia, no one using it. I told her to tell her father to send it here because I may use it. I realized it is a great tablet. Her father sent it to use at the beginning of November from Russia to Spain. Spain detained it for 3 months – a huge shitshow. We barely got it in February. Anyways, things looked good. We felt no rush to solve the papers bullshit.
 
Police station? Immigration Office? None?
 
Ok. We go to the police station (like the mighty Europe website recommended) with that form filled in and all the documents. They tell us we have to go to Girona (1h away) to the National Police. Ok. Next day we go there. They tell us, “no you have to go to the Immigration Office, on the other side of the town”. We are ok with that. 20 min walk. We arrive there. They don’t let us in. They tell us we need an appointment. They give us a paper with instructions. Ok. Fuck. We sit on a bench trying to navigate to that super long URL from that paper they gave us (use some fuckin’ URL shortenings motherfuckers, damn….). We fill in the form for an appointment to only be greeted with “Sorry, no more appointments available”. We try for half an hour. They close at 2pm and it’s almost 2pm. We go back to tell them that we can’t make an appointment. They said they know. It is difficult. Try more. Try in the morning at 9 or so. Ok. Fuck. Sasha only has 3-4 more days of VISA in Spain. Can we schedule in time?
 
The rush to save Sasha
 
The next 3 days we try to schedule every day. My mother also tries to do that for us. It is impossible. These fuckers let you fill in the form (which is not easy – select, write, pay attention, fill in the bloody robot captcha), and then they say “sorry no more appointments available”. I even recorded myself trying for almost 2 hours without stopping. This is a disgrace and a mockery. Like….should I try every single day to do this? Can’t they have a better system where I submit my request and they contact me when they can schedule an appointment for me? It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen. We try to call them, to make a complaint, to….We don’t know what to do anymore.
 
Sasha has 1 more VISA day of stay in Spain by our calculations and she gets terrified by the thought that if she will get caught she may be deported or Spain may refuse to let her in for a period of time (ban). Sasha traveled all around the world for the past 10 years and people love to read her stories. But one reason she did this was because she could not stay in one place for long. Now, she found a home and a prince :). So she really wanted to be able to stay here for a while. Of course I also wanted that. So the risk was quite big if she would break the law and maybe they will deny her the residence card or will get her into troubles. We’ve read on governmental websites and the european website a lot and they really say she needs a residence card and this residence card takes a while to be approved and they may dig into your past and stuff so we didn’t want to risk it with her overstaying her VISA. Sasha got so scared and sad she started to cry and she made me so fuckin’ sad and angry at this society. This human that does nothing wrong, to the contrary she does volunteer work, is so scared because of this fucked up society that all it does is to scare innocent people and never stop the “bad actors”. So, because she was so concerned about all of this, and I too was concerned and didn’t want for Sasha to be fucked by the situation, we decided to book flights back to Romania for the next day. 200 Euros. She could stay in Romania for 2 or so more months. We planned to go there then come back here when her VISA “renews” so we have more time to deal with the residence card. I even called Rafa (our good TROM friend from Spain) to ask him if he can help us figure out some legal stuff. He studied law. He is such a warm hearted guy. He is from Spain so we hoped he may know more. He looks over the information: if Sasha can stay, about VISA, about the situation itself. He calls friends that work in the justice department or study it. All that, for hours, a day before we had to leave. In the end he kinda says it should be fine for Sasha to stay even if her VISA expired but he cannot tell for sure. The more he looks into it the more confusing it seems. At first he thought that Sasha could stay without a problem since we are married, but after reading (like we did) online and official sources, nothing was clear anymore. Many thanks hermano! 🙂
 
The next day was about to be a complete rollercoaster of emotions and projections.
 
So, here’s the plan now: we pack our bags today and tomorrow we go to the townhall, police and even Girona to the immigration office to complain to them that we tried to make an appointment but we can’t and her VISA expires. All of that before the departure time of our plane in Barcelona. K. We pack. We try to sleep (barely). We wake up in the morning and are going to the townhall. On our way my family calls this woman that’s from Honduras to ask her how she dealt with the residency card for her kids since they were in a similar situation. The woman says it take months to make an appointment for the residency card (fuckin’ christ), and you basically have to try every day to get one. Inhumane! But she also says we should not worry since Sasha can stay here without a problem even without a residency card. They said they did that and many do that. However that’s not what we have read from official sources. We can’t take it for granted. But she says to go to this office in Girona and ask for a VISA extension.
 
We go.
 
We enter what seemed to be that office. They say “nah, it is that building across the street”. We realized it is the same immigration office we’ve been before to. Damn. But we go there and explain the situation to them. We are honest….like wtf people…we try to be as legal as possible but help us for fucks’sake. They send us to this police department. They listen to us and send us to another. Same building. Finally. Now we can talk. We explain the situation and the police officer asks for Sasha’s passport. We give it to him. He goes to check it. I am a bit concerned of what he might say.
 
FUCKIN SURPRISE.
 
The guy comes back and says: “yeah so if you are married with him, then you can stay in Spain without a problem, indefinitely”. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!? So all of this stress, the tickets bought, the tears, the scare….and now we find out she doesn’t even need a residence card to stay!? Just….WOW. But we are so happy that we don’t care anymore. We are over the moon! She only needs a residence card if she wants to work (which she might be forced to because we are broke) – so we need to continue to be slaves to their system of making an appointment for that residency card. I even recorded that guy with a hidden camera to make sure we have that on film in case this is going to cause us troubles. But I doubt. They checked. They were the authorities there. That’s it. Fuck it. Now we go back home to our cozy apartment in Spain.
We can finally be relaxed now that Sasha can stay here. Forever. Of course we lost a lot of money with all of this bullshit. And so much stress that I’m still recovering from it. It started in May last year, and barely now it is over. And we are the lucky ones. Sasha has 2 nationalities (so greater access to the world) and I am “european”. Imagine people from India, Iran, China and the like who want to be together with others from other tribes. Don’t be fooled by smart TVs, bendable screens, 5G internet and redidt memes. This world is a prison.

Until a year ago I was alone and life was more simple in many regards. It was me and my computer most of the time. I didn’t have to deal with authorities, paperwork, and so forth. It was mainly me and the online world. Now, I know more people. More than me. I like them. I like Sasha a lot and I would have done this for her even if we were not together. Without a doubt. She should be able to not run all the time from this society.

My life is better now with Sasha. We get along so well. Everything is great. We help each other when it comes to TROM stuff. We even learned to cook paella and fideoa. Traditional Spanish foods :)). We want to have a relaxed life here so we can focus on our work. Sasha on her personal book and helping with TROM stuff as much as she can, and me fully-TROM stuff.

For a simple request, “Me and Sasha to be able to live together on this planet Earth”, we had to go through a ton of stress, spend money, bend forward in front of authorities, get scared, move from one place to another, and so forth. It took us many months of struggle. And all, for a piece of paper that writes “Tio and Sasha are now glued together”. This, and only this, nothing else, allows us to live together in Europe (at least Spain and Romania from what we know now). If this doesn’t sound like an abuse to someone, then this someone is perfectly zombiffied by this society.

When people “congratulate” us, I hope they read this blog and understand that there is nothing to congratulate us about. They should be furious that Planet Earth is a prison. The fact that you didn’t get to feel it like we did, it makes no difference. It still is a prison and sooner or later you’ll feel it more or less. And the moment you stop getting angry about being fucked in the ass by the society, you will become its prostitute. A zombie. Someone who looks alive from outside, but it is dead inside. Yes, some celebrate marriages and enjoy them and feel no problem with these rituals. Good for you. But remember that they are used as a mean of fucking people in the ass in this world. They are, in the broader context, a perversity. A disgrace that is indirectly (and sometimes directly) forced upon humans. And most seem to just accept it and do it voluntarily. I never understood why anyone wants to get married. If you love someone, then being together should not be as fragile as a piece of paper.