4 Serious Questions For 'Dexter's Laboratory'

4 Serious Questions For 'Dexter's Laboratory'

How does his family afford all that electricity?

Hello friends and welcome back to another exciting episode of Conspiracies with Alyssa. I'm your host and I'm going to walk you through and oldie but a goodie - Dexter's Laboratory. The show follows Dexter, a child genius who's forced to contend with his very average family, including his sister, Dee Dee (boy they sure loved this name on kid's shows, huh?) who often runs amuck in his secret laboratory underneath his bedroom.

Apart from being a cartoon, this show becomes totally unrealistic (albeit, super fun to watch) with the whole "lab beneath the bedroom" thing. I know that's the point of cartoons, but I've always had some serious questions about Dexter and his lab, so let's jump right in.

Who the hell is paying for all that power?

Powering a laboratory, especially one as monolithic and sophisticated as Dexter's, requires some serious power. I'm talking nuclear energy. Where does all that power come from? Are his parents paying for it? What the hell does their electric bill look like? Is Dexter using like, high grade Uranium to power his machines? Where does he get it? Where does he come by all his supplies?

The questions about the actual structure and running of the lab are endless, but I'm personally more concerned about the cost and the maintenance of the lab. Who the hell is helping Dexter do all this? He may be a genius, but he's just a kid! He can hardly reach half the controls!

In the opening titles, a huge sign displaying the name of the show, we find out, is just controlled by an A/C power plug. Like, a plug that goes into a socket in the wall. WHAT?! That forces us to believe that the power has to come from an electrical source, and there's no way he has generators by the hundreds just laying around. Regardless of the power source, energy is expensive and I want to know where it's coming from.

Which reminds me...

Dexter has a ton of ground-breaking technology. Why is he keeping it to himself?

So Dex literally has a shrink ray, an "atom smasher", and a literal space shuttle in his laboratory that he himself says he "created". Yes, the kid's a genius with a lot of spare time on his hands but developing those kinds of things takes time, resources, and energy. He could literally be changing the world. So why isn't he?

I mean, the kid invented successful, mature cloning technology. An actual copy of you steps out of the machine. At the very least, he could be making billions of dollars, and he could also probably cure cancer in about 2 and a half days. Why isn't he taking advantage of this? The kid could have more money than Oprah if he called up NASA and told them about half the shit he has in his basement.

But that raises another question...

Why does Dexter have a weird, vaguely German-French accent?

His family is all clearly from the United States. There are flags displayed on their schools. They live in a suburb and seem to be very normal people. Why, then, does Dexter speak with a very strange mix of a German and French accent? Is it because he's trying to sound smarter? Did he just think it sounded good? Did his voice get stuck that way after listening to a scientist on tv?

It's something that has genuinely bothered me for the entire run of the show. I was older when Dexter's Laboratory came on, but I still watched it after school and on Saturday mornings. This was the aspect of the show that always bothered me the most though. My friends would just laugh it off or tell me not to worry about it, but I did.

Was Dexter apprehended at a very early age by German/French scientists to study because of his high IQ? Is he a spy? Is he even a child?

Speaking of which...

A child has created all of this by himself. The government isn't interested?

Unless Dexter has managed to figure out a way to keep his inventions totally off-the-grid, why hasn't the government shown interest in him? He's clearly a genius beyond normal comprehension. Yet he just comes home from school (which he should have already graduated from, by the way, considering how smart he is) and tinkers in his lab.

You're going to tell me that the United States Government isn't interested in a shrink ray or an atom smasher? Yeah, okay. You keep telling yourself that, sunshine. Dexter's biggest problem in life is Dee Dee running around his laboratory and causing mayhem, but he never has to deal with Gary from NASA trying to recruit him?

Dexter is wise beyond his years, but the questions posed today are big ones that I would sincerely like answers to. I'm looking at you, Gendy Tartakovsky. I will await a response in the form of an email.

That's all the time we have for today, kids. Make sure you tune in next time when we talk about a pair of kids with access to heavy-duty machinery and absolutely NO adult supervision.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact

Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Writer%27s_Block_I.jpg

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4 Steps To Writing a Haiku

It's Fun I Promise

You've probably had to write a haiku for English sometime in your school career. You most likely found it boring, or difficult, or just plain stupid. I am going to try and show you a more fun way to write a haiku.

1. The Basics: What You Should Know

In case you don't know, a haiku is a Japanese poem that is only three lines long. It is usually taught that the syllables in each line should go 5-7-5. But really, as long as there are 17 syllables or less in the three lines, it's a haiku.

2. Write to Get a Reaction

When you write a haiku, you are aiming to get one of three reactions: Aaaahhh, aha!, or ha ha! For example...

Aaahhh: Laying in bed/dog next to me under blanket/my furry heater

Aha!: Life is too short to love people/who do not deserve/your whole heart

Ha ha!: I'm on the toilet/and my stomach drops/the roll is empty

3. Create an Image

In your writing, you want to create a new image in your readers mind with each line. Take my first haiku for example. I first talk about laying in bed. Then, I say there is a dog next to me under the blanket, so you picture a lump under the covers. In my last line, I call him a furry heater so you imagine a heater covered in fur. The image you create is more important than the syllables.

4. Performing

Lastly, you need to think about performing your haiku. As always, when you're speaking in front of a room of people, you need to project so the whole room can hear you and you need to make eye contact. Another thing to remember is the tone of your voice while you are saying your poem. Dramatic pauses can keep people on the edge of their seat, waiting for what you're going to say next. You also have to remember to be confident! And if you're not confident, fake it till you make it!

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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