Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has declared the "Mayan calendar was true," and told her nation to expect the end.
"My dear fellow remaining Australians," Gillard says in the video below, "the end of the world is coming."
The Y2K bug was not to blame, Gillard says, fingering the Mayans, zombies and even Korean pop music as the likely sources of a coup de grâce for Earth and all its inhabitants*.
The video is, of course, a spoof, and was prepared for a breakfast radio program on JJJ, a national youth-oriented channel** run by the publicly-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Readers beyond Australia wondering why a Prime Minister would help a breakfast radio show or indulge in apocalyptic satire may find it useful to know that Gillard's left-leaning Labor Party sees younger voters as a natural constituency. This prank is therefore seen as a vote-winner.
Readers keen on other works from the Gillard oeuvre may find this video to also be entertaining, as it features a 15-minute excoriation of opposition leader Tony Abbott, whom Gillard accuses of being an unreconstructed sexist.
The apocalyptic video is the second Australian radio prank to make global headlines this week, with the first being a prank call from commercial station 2Day that, despite terrible vocal impressions of The Queen and Prince Charles, managed to elicit confidential information about the forthcoming royal baby. ®
*The video also refers to Australia's carbon price, a divisive political issue, and "Q&A", a political panel show on which the public grill politicians.
** US readers looking for a reference point could consider JJJ the mutant offspring of college radio and NPR. British readers might find a useful comparison to be a blend of Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra.