Do Look Up: Interview with an Asteroid Survivor

JANUARY 11 / Donna Kennedy-Glans


Interviewer: Welcome to our blog Figment. We’re delighted to introduce you to our readers. And we’re keen to know what you have to say about Netflix’s new movie, Don’t Look Up.

Figment: I’ve seen this movie before!

Interviewer: Yes, of course. You are an Asteroid Survivor. What’s your take on the movie?

Figment: Well, I struggled a bit with PTSD; that sense of deja vu. Last time it was an asteroid, not a comet…but that’s splitting atoms. Honestly, the film gave me nightmares of the last Planet-killing, extinction level event, 66 million years ago. There were a lot of nay-sayers then. “Don’t look up” friends and family and colleagues who wrote it off as near-miss hysteria. And then there were the others who did look up, let fear get the best of them and hid, petrified, under a rock.

Interviewer: Sixty-six million years ago. Whew. Then, Planet Earth didn’t have high-powered politicians or corporate saviours promising high-tech, AI solutions to this existential threat. When you watched this film, did you gain a sense of hope that Earthlings could solve the problem, this time? 

Figment: Truth be told, I got a little distracted by all the stars. Meryl Streep doing a female Trump…or maybe it was Sarah Palin she was channeling. Whatever. Whoever. And that “sit tight and assess” line was hilarious- sounded more like “sit tight on your asses,” something I hear a lot from Earthlings these days.  And the brash guy playing Master of the Universe—the CEO of BASH corporation—he’s a delightful mashup of Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. The caricature of shameless capitalists who will bail on Planet Earth and head for a Goldilocks planet when the going gets tough.

Interviewer: Ok. We agree that the politicians and the business guys aren’t going to save us. What about the scientists? What was your take on Leonardo DiCaprio,  who morphed from boring astronomer to hot professor? And his side-kick, Kate, the weed-smoking grad student who first spotted the comet, kept pointing to the evidence and everyone in power did their best to shut her up?

Figment: Dr. Mindy (DiCaprio) reminds me of Al Gore, when he launched An Inconvenient Truth: “Trust me, I’m the expert.” Kate’s approach felt more authentic; a fusion of Carl Sagan and  David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg showing you, again and again, what happens to “Our Planet” when the climate changes—or in this case—when a 5 to 10 kilometres wide comet slams into Earth. Kate refused to be muted. I admired that. 

Interviewer: What about all the alternative stories that surfaced? Did you do battle with conspiracy theories in the day?

Figment: Oh man, your humans think you invented conspiracy theories but we dinosaurs had it worse.  Apocalyptic predictions all the time--famines, plagues, holes in the ozone. And later, so many theories about dinosaurs and what wiped us out: Who would believe these stories? Humans took out the dinosaurs because we were occupying too much space. The entire dinosaur population got a contagious disease, worse than COVID-19, and died. And then there are the people who dont believe dinosaurs ever roamed the Earth.  Jurassic World really pulled those folks out of their closets. 

Interviewer: How do you think the media handled all the fear and emotion in the movie?

Figment:  Oh, wow, my dinosaur mind was getting really bogged down with all the rage, the FBI and NASA and all their territoriality. Old ways of thinking that bubble up when I'm threatened. It reminded me of how easy it is to get stuck in that way of thinking, about our limitations. And how easy it was for media to manipulate us.

Interviewer: Thanks for this Figment. We'll have to interview you again, to probe some other big questions. But before we sign off, we need to ask about that pink tutu you wear everywhere. Whats up with that? 

Figment: Of course, the tutu. Its a signal to you Earthlings that this dinosaur CAN dance. And not just the ballet. This dinosaur can rock and roll, tango, jive and cha cha, swing, salsa, even do the belly dance. Moonwalk is my fav and to be honest, I hate disco.  Dancing whatever dance is needed to get unstuck, to open up my way of thinking and move beyond the fears and my own limitations. Maybe that's a topic for another interview.

Interviewer: Wow, that sounds wonderful Figment. Thanks for this interview and readers, we hope you enjoy this interview with an Asteroid Survivor. If you have had the chance to check out this new Netflix film yourself, let us know what you think. And we'll be back to you with Figment--and other dinosaurs who know how to dance--for insights on how we can all survive, and thrive, in a world where the status quo is extinct.


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