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Australian Prime Minister's Spoof "Apocalypse" Speech Goes Viral In China

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the believe-it-or-not dept.

Australia 225

brindafella writes "Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, recorded a spoof speech about the Mayan calendar apocalypse several days ago, for radio station "Triple J". Gillard said in part, 'Whether the final blow comes from flesh eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-pop, if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end.' The speech has been picked up in China on Sina Weibo (China's Twitter) and has achieved well over 23,000 repeats, without anyone picking up the irony." This comes on the heels of the online version of China's Communist Party newspaper picking up an Onion story about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un being named the "Sexiest Man Alive."

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225 comments

K-pop? (5, Funny)

Platinumrat (1166135) | about a year ago | (#42285291)

Then the apocalypse is already upon us and I for one welcome our Korean overloads.

Re:K-pop? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285589)

I for one would rather have the hell beasts. After all, every once in a while you get a succubus.

Re:K-pop? (-1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about a year ago | (#42285703)

Anyone else wondered when "K-pop" became... a thing? I mean surely we should wait until a few Korean pop songs have gone global before giving the whole genre a name?!

Re:K-pop? (5, Informative)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | about a year ago | (#42285737)

Korean pop has been called K-pop (and Japanese pop called J-pop) long before Gangnam Style was a twinkle in PSY's sunglasses.

Re:K-pop? (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about a year ago | (#42285779)

Korean pop has been called K-pop (and Japanese pop called J-pop) long before Gangnam Style was a twinkle in PSY's sunglasses.

I'd missed all that... probably down to my age. I also can't hear the words! :D

Re:K-pop? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#42285829)

Is there such a thing as S-pop, and if so, where does it come from?

Re:K-pop? (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year ago | (#42285897)

Well Chinese Pop is called C-Pop but if you wanted to get all Victorian in this hizzouse you could call it Sino-Pop or S-Pop I suppose.

Re:K-pop? (2)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42285977)

You have Mandopop on the mainland and Taiwan and Cantopop in Hong Kong. Never heard either called C-pop. Both equally vapid and dominated by pretty boy/girl singers and bands.

Re:K-pop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285759)

It was called k-pop ages before now, can you guess what j-pop is? Its been called that for a long long time as well.

Re:K-pop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42286053)

Javanese Pop?

So what kind of soda pop is K-Pop?

Re:K-pop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285925)

And get of my lawn!

Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285295)

I personally can't wait until North korea finally gets this news and starts the widespread news about a flesh eating zombie outbreak in Australia.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285359)

I personally can't wait until North korea finally gets this news and starts the widespread news about a French eating zombie outbreak in Australia.

And the triumph of K-Pop clones.

Stupid People (5, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42285345)

will believe anything on the interwebs.

At this point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285361)

I'm pretty sure they'll make any story that makes the outside world look crazy and scary go viral to justify their great walls and firewalls...

That, or the crazy is just business as usual over there and I'm very thankful they've taken measures to confine themselves.

Shit (5, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#42285365)

Why did nobody tell me demonic hell beasts were an option. Why am I always last to get the memo? I'm all geared up for zombies, vampires, ice ages, meteorite strikes, pandemics and alien invasions. Now I have to go study Alice Cooper videos for vulnerabilities. Is salt good or is that just ghosts? Damn!

Re:Shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285439)

Don't worry, demonic tentacled hell beasts only go for the cute schoolgirls.

Re:Shit (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285707)

What makes you think Intrepid imaginaut is not a cute schoolgirl.

Re:Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42286123)

with her plaid skirt, sailor shirt, bobby socks, and five o'clock shadow

Re:Shit (5, Funny)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about a year ago | (#42285591)

Don't worry. Demonic hell beasts are handled like fast zombies. Firepower is key. Just don't rely on your anti-zombie shotguns. You want armor piercing capability. Minor upgrade to your gear, no big thing. Wait, don't you have at least one M82 for anti-alien action?? I thought you were prepared...

Re:Shit (5, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#42285641)

Wait, don't you have at least one M82 for anti-alien action?? I thought you were prepared...

Please, my shit is next gen. I've got a powerbook running windows 95 on a virtual PC that I left exposed to the internet for a couple of days.

Welcome to earth!

Re:Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285671)

Why did nobody tell me demonic hell beasts were an option. Why am I always last to get the memo? I'm all geared up for zombies, vampires, ice ages, meteorite strikes, pandemics and alien invasions. Now I have to go study Alice Cooper videos for vulnerabilities. Is salt good or is that just ghosts? Damn!

Pentagrams or other religious symbols tend to work against demonic hell beasts. I advice against using Alice Cooper videos as a reference, go for Ghostbusters or Buffy if you are desperate.

Re:Shit (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year ago | (#42285739)

Pentagrams or other religious symbols tend to work against demonic hell beasts. I advice against using Alice Cooper videos as a reference, go for Ghostbusters or Buffy if you are desperate.

<hng mode="desperate">I'd go for Buffy any time!</hng>

Sarcasm (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42285375)

Just like a sufficiently advanced parody can't be distinguished from a zealot, sarcasm doesn't translate. I'm sure they thought it funny and entertaining, but for completely different reasons than intended.

Re:Sarcasm (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285661)

From my experience working with Chinese people, and I don't mean people of Chinese decent, but actually born, raised and lived in China most of their lives; they don't get sarcasm. Most of them, anyway. They don't.

My boss is Chinese, and will stare blankly when I make a sarcastic remark about something, and most of the Chinese people around me are the same. They just have a different sense of humor, I guess it's a cultural thing. ...and it's not like I can write [SARCASM] on a notebook and hold it up like a sign. They won't get the reference either.

Re:Sarcasm (1)

saihung (19097) | about a year ago | (#42285991)

Yeah, the usual sense of humor revolves around stuff like slapstick and wordplay. Sarcasm and satire aren't understood.

Re:Sarcasm (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#42286081)

Humor in general doesn't translate very well. Even between Americans and Brits and we speak the same language (more or less) and have similar cultural roots. Yes, we have a lot of common humor, but we still find different things funny. Simply look at how British TV shows are modified when ported to the US.

Asians and Americans have entirely different cultural roots and languages that aren't related in the slightest. I'm sure there are tons of stuff they think is hysterical and we just don't get it.

Re:Sarcasm (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year ago | (#42285711)

Apparently backlinks don't translate either. The link to the sexiest man alive article at huffpost doesn't even include a linkback to the original onion spoof.

Shout out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285381)

Bravo for the rare politician today willing to demonstrate some humour and humanity :). Can I get the hotline number in case those zombies show up?

Re:Shout out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285773)

You mean karma whore for the youth vote? Politicians are karma whores first and foremost.

A spoof by, not of, the leader (4, Interesting)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#42285391)

This is on a different level from the Onion spoofs of world leaders like Obama or Kim Jung'Un. This is the real Australian Prime Minister doing the spoof. US presidents have been known to pardon Thanksgiving turkeys and part of running for public office in any democratic country is to show your "lighter side" in front of the media, but Gillard's "speech" goes beyond the realm of a simple practical joke. That or the producers of the show have done some nifty CGI work worthy of a Hollywood disaster movie.

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (3, Informative)

dwywit (1109409) | about a year ago | (#42285461)

No - it was definitely her. I mean, "Brave" was pretty good, but I've yet to see a female ranga with a broad Aussie accent successfully rendered on a computer.
 
And Gillard's got enough of a sense of humour to do this. Actually, some of our other PMs have said/done some funny things - Hawke's "bum" comment when we won the America's Cup, Howard's ability to take "The Chaser" on the chin - whatever else you thought of him, he kept on going for his morning jog, knowing they'd be waiting for him.

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a year ago | (#42285487)

Don't forget Julie Bishop's effort in outstaring a garden gnome [youtube.com] .

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (1)

dwywit (1109409) | about a year ago | (#42285695)

Oh god yes - she's such a national treasure. Any politician, no matter what else I think of them, gets a bonus point for being prepared to look silly on national TV. Intentionally silly, that is. Not when spouting party policies. And Barnaby Joyce just makes my day whenever I see him giving a sound bite. I can't tell whether he's a master troll or just an idiot, and that's not sarcasm - I've actually heard some well-reasoned words escape his lips.
 
Offtopic - anyone surprised about the outcome of the Peter Slipper court case?

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a year ago | (#42285973)

To me Joyce seems like the broken watch of politics: for two seconds a day he's spot on, for the other 84,398 he's wrong in so many ways. Whether it's deliberate or just a result of living in rural Queensland too long is hard to say.

No surprise with the Slipper case, and we're going to hear a lot about press releases and timestamps over the next few days.

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285823)

It was a carefully calculated stunt to appeal to the audience of JJJ - a cynical political move for the youth vote in the federal election in 2013.

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285611)

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

- United States President Ronald Reagan

Re:A spoof by, not of, the leader (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year ago | (#42286115)

I take it that you've never seen an episode of Saturday Night Live? They've had several prominent politicians on that show including several presidential candidates and I believe a sitting U.S. President.

That doesn't even get into movies like Contact that featured Bill Clinton announcing the discovery of an extra-terrestrial radio signal coming from the Vega star system. Yes, I do know what the press conference that Bill Clinton was responding to was actually about (and just as nuts) but that doesn't stop stuff like that from being used either.

This kind of thing is hardly new, much less something to condemn a sitting Prime Minister of any country for having some fun.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285447)

..some nationalities just done get it..

Humour and irony (2, Interesting)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42285453)

Is it something lacking in Asia, or just in dictatorship?

Re:Humour and irony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285555)

Living in China, I found that people here really don't seem to know about irony. They just don't use it and therefore don't notice it. At least that's what I got from the various misunderstandings I've expererienced. I found that being true for Koreans and Malaysians as well, so it might be applicable to whole East Asia.

Re:Humour and irony (4, Funny)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year ago | (#42285755)

Living in China, I found that people here really don't seem to know about irony. They just don't use it and therefore don't notice it. At least that's what I got from the various misunderstandings I've expererienced. I found that being true for Koreans and Malaysians as well, so it might be applicable to whole East Asia.

I hate to tell you this, but all over Europe it is well known that Americans don't understand irony.

No, it isn't anything like silvery or coppery....

Re:Humour and irony (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42285807)

No, it isn't anything like silvery or coppery....

British humor at its best. Love it. :-)

Re:Humour and irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42286043)

Is it like rain in your wedding day?

Re:Humour and irony (2)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#42286131)

Part of the problem for Americans catching irony or sarcasm is that so many American's believe such a wide variety of crazy things it's hard sometimes to know if they are joking. For instance, if you knew me and heard me say, "Obama's raising taxes because he's a secret Muslim," you would know that I was joking. However, if you knew I was an American but didn't know me personally, it's entirely possible that I was being serious. We have to look for extra cues to see if someone is being serious or not, because in America you never know what someone actually believes.

Re:Humour and irony (2)

Platinumrat (1166135) | about a year ago | (#42285791)

Actually, I spent a lot of time in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia and can say that following is my experience:

a) Chinese generally don't get sarcasm, except those brought up abroad

b) Indonesians sometimes understand it, but seem to think more about the next meal

c) Thais live for Sarcasm. They do it so well, you can't tell sometimes.

Re:Humour and irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285663)

People in totalitarian regimes are trained from a young age to respect authority and believe what it says -- i.e. to be gullible in that area. It's not cultural so much as in the regime's interest to maintain that as much as possible. In genuine democratic countries (as opposed to faux "Democratic People's Republics"), we learn from a young age that politicians are not to be trusted, even without obvious signs that it's humor. I mean, most people around here probably got no further than "Prime Minister..." before thinking "Uh oh. What is it this time?"

Hehehehe, joking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285783)

You apparently never lived in totalitarian regime :D At least your total cluelessness suggests :D
I would say that people in "genuine democratic countries" are several times more easily fooled by media (or government) than people that have to filter the pieces of truth from streams of propaganda as part of their lifes.

Re:Hehehehe, joking? (2)

brezel (890656) | about a year ago | (#42285841)

it really depends. the czechs and slovaks used to be under a totalitarian russian regime and they have a very intelligent and subtle sense of humor and they pick up small humorous nuances, that lots of people from other countries wouldn't even get.

then there's the germans who, though having been free people for quite some time, basically have absolutely no subtleness in their humor. everything is outspoken and nothing is left unsaid. austria is directly next to germany and austrians have an extremely playful and ironic sense of humor but the overall mentality of the country is completely different to germany.

i think, that the regime plays a big role, but IMO the social environment is at least as important. people who are very organized and devoted to their leaders or their work tend not to develop a sense of humor, where irony and unsaid things are understood.

Re:Humour and irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285929)

Is it something lacking in Asia

Can't speak for all of Asia, but having spent a decade in Japan, toilet humour is basically as good as it gets on TV. Even rakugo [wikipedia.org] , a traditional form of Japanese humour that is practically a fine art
compared to what usually passes for comedy in Japan, is utterly dry tripe.

Note that while wikipedia states 'the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical story', well, I'll let you be the judge.
Here is a passable rendition of Meguro no sanma [geocities.co.jp] ,
one of the most famous and best-loved rakugo. Hilarious stuff, isn't it.

(random aside: geocities.co.jp lives??! talk about insular! guess we didn't give the memo a visitor's visa.)

Re:Humour and irony (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42286009)

Is it something lacking in Asia, or just in dictatorship?

This was on the Chinese version of Twitter. Do you think the western version is any less credulous and ready to fall for hoaxes and rumours?

Also, China isn't really a dictatorship any more, though it's also along way from democracy.

What I would like to know... (3, Interesting)

Balinares (316703) | about a year ago | (#42285457)

What I would like to know is how often we mistakenly take foreign news at face value.

It can be so hard to read the cues from a different culture.I wonder if that has been studied?

Re:What I would like to know... (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42285493)

Hmm.. could be that all that stuff about the Great Firewall is just a practical joke. And North Korea is actually a real paradise with real unicorns. They just pretend to be a horrible, insane dictatorship to keep us out..

Re:What I would like to know... (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#42285559)

So the mine field and walls are to prevent poachers from getting to the unicorns? Like jurassic park should have been defended?

Re:What I would like to know... (2, Insightful)

abies (607076) | about a year ago | (#42285653)

What I would like to know is how often we mistakenly take foreign news at face value.

I know plenty of people who are still treating thousands years old news in Aramaic at face value.

Erm.. (5, Funny)

philmarcracken (1412453) | about a year ago | (#42285463)

As an aussie. This was not funny the first time. And not funny the second on /.

Im just glad she listened to the right people when it comes to fiber.

Re:Erm.. NBNCo Fibre is a disappointment (0)

mathew42 (2475458) | about a year ago | (#42286149)

Actually we in Australia are becoming increasingly disappointed with the National Broadband Network (NBN), especially when you compare it with Google Fibre.
  • * NBN is costing ~$40 billion compared with Google Fibre estimate of $150 billion for a Nationwide roll-out.
    Now Australia has a similar land mass to the US, but less than 1/10th the population and is heavily urbanised.
  • * Google is 1Gbps for $70 [wikipedia.org] . Currently the highest NBN plan is 100/40Mbps with 1TB quota for $164.95/month [on.net] .
    1Gbps will be available in a couple of years on the NBN, but price is $150 plus data (100/40Mbps wholesale is $38/month so retail prices will be likely to be double wholesale).
  • * 50% on the NBN are predicted to connect at 12/1Mbps (page 64 of NBNCo Corporate Plan (2012-15) [nbnco.com.au] ) at ~$40-$50 for 30GB month.
  • * Current NBNCo wholesale prices are discounted, as per page 67 of the NBNCo Corporate Plan
    - 1000/400Mbps falls from $150 to $90, while the average speed grows from 30Mbps to 230Mbps. So price falls by 40% while average speed grows by 7.6 times
    - price of CVC falls by 2.5 times, while the data usage grows by 20 times

Sadly, too many people in Australia have read the "1Gbps Fibre announcement made during the 2010 Federal election campaign in response to Google Fibre Announcement. Very little investigation has been done to appreciate what is being delivered for fear that like other government initiatives, the delivery will be a failure. The reality is that for 50% 12/1Mbps will be what they experience and for maybe 25% 100/40Mbps with download quotas. The rich will have their 1Gbps connections subsidised by the national roll-out. Rather than revolutionary the NBN will be little better than current 100Mbps cable services. NBNCo are also focusing on areas already serviced by cable to re-enforce their natural monopoly and reduce competition.

The alternative would have been to release uncapped fibre speeds (everybody receives 1Gbps) and charge for data. This is fair as low quota users put hardly any load on the network, while heavy downloaders do. We would then have had something closer to Google Fibre and truly revolutionary. To quote Simon Hackett (Internode):

"They could charge that average to everyone, and open the ports up to full speed for everyone (this is my personal preference, FWIW)." post by Simon Hackett [whirlpool.net.au]

Instead we have a fibre network where anyone downloading less than 5GB month (national average is ~20GB (ABS [abs.gov.au] ) is probably better using a 4G connection and ditching the land line. If we accept that NBNCo are correct in predicting that 50% will connect at 12/1Mbps, then based on the fact that 25/5Mbps plans are only $5 extra a month there is a significant number of people who may find wireless better value.

And the scariest part is... (2)

FerretallicA (1643291) | about a year ago | (#42285557)

...this isn't even remotely the craziest thing the witch has managed to convince people of as fact.

Re:And the scariest part is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285757)

...this isn't even remotely the craziest thing the witch has managed to convince people of as fact.

Pernilla Hagberg, A Swedish MP for green party Miljopartiet came out - on record - in a daily newspaper saying that CIA was releasing mind-controlling chemicals across Sweden and this can be seen in the white vapor "chemtrails" after US aircraft in Swedish airspace. True story.

gQnaa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285617)

*BSD but FreeB)SD alike to reap

23,000 repeats (5, Insightful)

lucmove (757341) | about a year ago | (#42285635)

23,000 repeats shouldn't mean much in China.

Re:23,000 repeats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285701)

Yep a photo of a bowl of noodles can get more than 23,000 reports on weibo.

Although I doubt this will stop at 23,000.

Go Julia, you ranga.

This explains so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285719)

This explains why my wife's cousin suddenly emailed with lots of questions about the mayan doomsday.

How 'bout them Aussie's, eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285813)

Them Aussie's and their pranks. It's all fun and games until some packy nurse tops herself.

Re:How 'bout them Aussie's, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285853)

India != Pakistan
Christian != Muslim

Try again.

Re:How 'bout them Aussie's, eh? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#42285953)

There's a good point there though about the radio bullshit even if the poster got nationalities mixed up. Imagine a far right beyond the point of insanity, gay (yes despite the far right bit), woman hating, xenophobic suspected pedophile (rumoured to be quietly kicked out of several jobs as a teacher for that reason) that deliberately stirs up race riots and you've got what the leading "shock jock" in Australia appears to be. The pedophilla is just a string of yet unproven rumours since they tended to just move teachers on in those days at the first sign of suspicion (such as naked locker room antics with the football team which may have been innocent and may have been all that happened), but what comes out of his mouth is bad enough, and his political connections would make him untouchable perhaps even if it is true. So the message is put out there that truly vile and evil sells (even if he isn't really so evil) and it gets copied by others that want good ratings. Do we really need enough of a "shock" to stir up race riots, or on that other station, drive somebody to suicide with a pointless prank (let alone truly vile stuff from Kyle Sandilands from that same station that could have driven two other women to suicide if they were as fragile - joking about an underage girl's rape experience in front of them is going too far IMHO).

Reality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285883)

Reality is that asians are fucking idiots. Sure, there are some stereotypes about them being good at video games or math, but that's all they are, stereotypes. Reality is they are fucking 3rd world stone dumb and merely obsess over a few things to the point where they will DROP DEAD doing it. So.... OF COURSE THEY GET GOOD AT IT!! WHO WOULDN'T??!

You may as well find a way to give OCD to people and call it a recipe for success.

Asians are fucking idiots and all those who worship them are too.

Too good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285935)

She has a terrible voice but it was a nice sentiment.

If only she had Joss Whedon's parody skills...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo

Who is missing whose sarcasm? (4, Insightful)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#42286077)

Humor can be hard to translate. Maybe instead of the Chinese speakers missing the Aussie's sarcasm, it's visa-versa.

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