Postimees: Hysteria - more and more, let it stop!
We greatly regret having to inform you that the hysteria in the north has yet again climbed. With Mr. Liiv, and the Northern Radio's formerly disgraced staff in general, now seen as prophets for their eerily accurate predictions of the arrest of the legitimately elected legislature, the total closure of the borders, and now possibly colonization (many suspect the declaration that over two million will be conscripted in Reitzmag to be, in reality, a declaration of the sending of settlers en masse), they have gained ever more influence over the opinions of the population - and the general crazed state that exists in the north, with tomato puree now everywhere, priests screaming nonsense in the streets, and women dancing crazily while ululating in front of their housing, has, in turn, increased greatly.
Severe shortages of tomatoes continue. The vegetables, believed to have the ability to ward away Vards, are in such demand that people are willing to kill for it. In fact, such an incident occurred yesterday, when an elderly woman was beaten almost to death by a forty-three year old man for a single slice of tomato contained in the salad she was taking to a meeting of the local Seniors' Association. The woman, fortunately, has been taken to hospital, and is expected to recover; the man, however, was arrested. As a result of severe disruptions caused by the dissolution of the Republic and general concern over who exactly has jurisdiction and what law exactly applies, if at all, no trial can be held until some form of clarification is made, requiring the man in question to be held in jail, without bail, indefinitely until the issue is resolved.
In other fits of craziness over the tomato, a group of priests were seen walking through a village and throwing, from a bucket, tomato puree over everything, while chanting loudly what appeared to be nonsense derived from one of the programs of the Northern Radio. The incident was celebrated by the villagers, many of whom danced outside, wearing, as is now unfortunately normal, cardboard boxes as to ensure that Vards do not see their torsos or anything approximating their torsos, as the tomato puree landed on their bodies. They would then smear it across them and the boxes they were wearing, before continuing to dance, screaming various praises to the priests and to God.
Elsewhere, at a busy market, a woman accused a merchant of being a Vardic agent, as she was upset with rationing policies that had nothing to do with the merchant. Said merchant was then attacked by a mob, tomato puree thrown at him before he was jumped on, dragged, unconscious, into a nearby ditch, covered in a thin layer of dirt, and left there to suffer as the mob and most of the others in the market celebrated their "defeat," in which they gathered tomatoes and the spilled tomato puree at the center of the marketplace before praising and seemingly praying to the tomatoes and puree because of the "victory against the Horde" it had led them to. The merchant fortunately survived; unfortunately, no one can be arrested, as it is unclear who participated and who did not, and most are worried of legal trouble and possible arrest by the "thugs" of the J-TAI if they make any sort of decision.
Even worse, a large group would later set upon the gathered tomatoes and puree, fighting each other to get more as to protect themselves against the Vards, leading to eighteen injuries. The market has since been closed and forced to relocate as a result of the repeated incidents occurring there.
Many other incidents, of looting and of violence over tomatoes, have occurred; they have become so common as to become normal.
The severity of the shortages, in addition to the extreme desire for the tomatoes, has led to a massive ballooning of the cost. One tomato, on average, now costs well over 70 ketsels, expected to continue to increase sharply in the coming days. Attempts to impose price controls have not been fruitful.
In other events, the storytime assemblies have continued. Teachers continue to regale children with stories of how the Vards will assault them with various vegetables and fruits in various areas considered vulgar; they have supplemented this with passages from the newly released "The Modern Mother Goose," which includes rhymes such as:
"Greedy General Renwalt,"
"Mr. Kim is Going to Fry,"
"[name], [name], Go Away,"
"Hey, Ho, They Will Go,"
Glitter and cucumbers, now impossible to find, remain prized objects among children, the trade of them flourishing in a sort of black market in the schools.
Their walks to and from the schools have themselves gotten much worse. Wearing cardboard boxes, tomato puree covering their faces - obtained generally by the school - they walk, holding a rope, behind priests, who flick more puree on the road before them, as women, before their housing lining the roads, dance crazily and ululate in an attempt to scare Vards away, per the instructions of the Northern Radio.
The young adults, on the other hand, are wasting their talent and creativity at a hitherto unseen scale. With the universities closed, generally as a result of the continuing strike, they have turned almost all of their time to the production of vulgar art of Vardic and Reitzmic soldiers - a true scar on themselves, their families, and their nation. Their productivity in this is terrifying - they produce up to 1000 times the "works" in this genre per week as teenage girls produced regarding the relationship between Aguilar and Bridges did on average in a month. The internet is flooded with their work, scarring many permanently as their work climbs upward through search engine results - typed screams of "Bleach! Bleach!" in relation to the vulgar works are now far too common.
What, then, of the south? People there have simply barricaded themselves inside their homes, waiting to die. They believe that the Reitzmics will "play" with them before killing them; they want to put that off as much as is possible, and thus have tried to shut themselves off from the outside world. Perhaps simpler then the craziness in the North; but perhaps it is worse. Here, we have hope; there, they have none.