jakia: (Default)
jakia ([personal profile] jakia) wrote in [community profile] openingyourselfuptojoy2012-08-28 09:48 am

Meta Wednesday: Kurt Hummel

 (you've been waiting for this)

Today's topic of discussion: Kurt Hummel!  Is he a cat? What's with him and death anyway?  Why does his magic only ever work for other people?

As always, feel free to discuss anything else: this is just a starting point!
misqueue: Blaine smiling at Kurt on stage after apologizing in 3x05 "The First Time" (glee - kurt/blaine - shared smile)

[personal profile] misqueue 2012-08-28 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I've written about these elsewhere, but I'll share here, too. My very brief in-a-nutshell head canon (so YMMV) for Kurt on these points is this:

* He is neuroatypical. I read him as gifted with many overexcitabilities and supersensitivities.

* (I like messing with Jungian analysis so bear with me here in case it sounds loopy.) His magic only works for others because Kurt is an Animus archetype, a most powerful one: a boundry-crosser, healer, magician, and guide (psychopomp). All the wings and flying symbols associated with him point to archetypal god figures like Hermes (winged sandals & helmet), Thoth (ibis headed), and Odin (the raven is his symbol). Until such time as Kurt finds his own Anima (which sometimes Santana kinda is to him, but not reliably so, and sometimes she pings me as more Ego), he's stuck ferrying other people.
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Glee Kurt/Blaine kissing by Graphicstogo)

[personal profile] out_there 2012-08-31 11:50 am (UTC)(link)
* He is neuroatypical. I read him as gifted with many overexcitabilities and supersensitivities.

That's very interesting. I hadn't heard of those terms before but I think he's definitely emotionally intense and the sensitivities would make sense given his high investment in fashion and matters of taste.

I can't put my finger on why, but I've always had the impression Kurt was one of the smarter kids on Glee. (Well, Rachel, Quinn, Kurt, Mike and Tina seem like the smarter/higher testing kids. Finn, Brit and Puck seem like the barely passing kids and the rest seem in teh middle.) Other than his conversational levels of French -- which I find impressive because I'm terrible at languages -- I don't know if we have any actual canon proof that Kurt's got good grades.
likeasouffle: (Default)

[personal profile] likeasouffle 2012-08-31 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
The only thing I can think of about Kurt's grades is that he had to study extra hard at Dalton to keep up, and therefore that he was willing to study extra hard and that it was important to him to do well.
misqueue: grey titmouse(?) sitting amongst blossoms (Default)

[personal profile] misqueue 2012-09-02 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
One of these days I really should put together an essay on this. Kurt has so many attributes that can be read as gifted, I think: from his gender presentation (gifted males are often gender undifferentiated) to his perfectionism and narcissism (I mean this descriptively, not pejoratively), and being a late bloomer physically (asynchronous development is common). It's not all about academic performance, though as you mention, he's very good at French (and I suspect well motivated there by his own ambitions).

Heck, one of the things I would add to any potential Glee drinking game is 'Kurt says a French word and other people are confused'.

As [personal profile] likeasouffle mentions, his studying hard at Dalton does show some enthusiasm for academics. Possibly because, for the first time, he's being challenged, since we have his comment to Mr. Schue shortly before he transfers to Dalton that he's "not challenged in the least" at McKinley. Which makes me suspect Kurt may well be a student who skates through on B's with little effort and isn't terribly engaged with most of what he studies at school.
likeasouffle: (Default)

[personal profile] likeasouffle 2012-08-31 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh I'm really intrigued by that article in relation to Kurt. I want to read it in more depth when I have more time.
misqueue: Kurt gives Blaine a radiant smile in 3x22 "Goodbye" (glee - kurt - smiling at Blaine)

[personal profile] misqueue 2012-09-02 09:08 am (UTC)(link)
Kurt had been pinging me as gifted for a while, and then it prompted me to do a bit more research, and then it became really hard to unsee it.
likeasouffle: (Default)

[personal profile] likeasouffle 2012-09-06 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Tell me about your research. I admit that as I read over the list of overexcitabilities, I was mostly seeing Chris in my head, not Kurt. But I know others have seen this in Kurt, so I'm interested to hear more!
misqueue: grey titmouse(?) sitting amongst blossoms (Default)

[personal profile] misqueue 2012-09-18 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! Sorry for being so late with a reply. I've been time managing like a goldfish.

(This is probably way too much tl;dr, but I'll toss it up anyway in case it's interesting?)

I suspect, from what we see of Chris Colfer (I can't really claim to know the guy except through his work and what he chooses to put out there in fairly controlled settings like interviews), he's likely highly gifted. So, we could have a conversation about to what degree Chris puts himself into Kurt, but since he's a professional actor, I consider his choices part of the character, not incidental. I'm also not super comfortable trying to talk about him as if I know much about him. So I'll stick with Kurt as a character in and of himself without regard to what I think I may or may not know about Chris Colfer.

An important trait of gifted kids (that I think Kurt shows) is asynchronous development. It's measured in three ways: physically, emotionally, intellectually. I think Kurt is more advanced than his peers emotionally (e.g., how he handles his father's illness, the stuff with Karofsky, Prom Queen, Rachel's friendship as it develops, the way he treats adults as his equals); he's behind his peers (a late bloomer) physically (S1 he's small, he looks like a 12 year old milkmaid, S3 (IAU) he tells us he's still not shaving); and intellectually, I think he's at least somewhat more advanced given his aptitude with French, his quoting of Sun Tzu, his well-informed atheism (indications that he's read Bertrand Russel on it), and thoughtful morality (see his handling of Karofsky, his class presidential campaign, Sebastian & The Warblers, his outrage at being accused of cheating).

Let's see. Then there's Kurt and gender stuff, that we've already talked a lot about, so this is an interesting article from that perspective: Gender Identity and the Overexcitability Profiles of Gifted college Students. Nutshell is gifted males with OE are more likely to be gender undifferentiated. Kurt Hummel 'has no gender'?

With regard to Kurt's emotional stuff, this article is interesting I think. (Of course, YMMV, depending on how you interpret Kurt in various situations): Issues in the Social and Emotionsal Adjustment of Gifted Children". It identifies some common emotional traits of Gifted individuals. I think some of these apply to Kurt: advanced moral judgement; heightened self awareness; heightened sensitivity to the expectations and feelings of others; perfectionism; introversion; high expectations of self and others; idealism and a sense of justice; and higher levels of emotional depth and intensity.

Ummmm. (Sorry, my bookmarks are really disorganized and there's a lot of repetition in various articles I have bookmarked.) I'll just poke at list of the OE's and give examples I think are relevant or highlight what I think applies? (Oh, I should also note that a lot of this stuff is complementary to [personal profile] crown_of_weeds exploration of Kurt as autistic, so I'd say go read everything she's done; she knows more about this stuff than I do. As I understand it, Giftedness and ASD can occur together and can share a lot of traits even when they don't.)

OE's! (I'm just kinda going down that list here)

• Psychomotor-wise we have Kurt's picking up the kicker role easily. He dances (Well, they all do in Glee, but combined with other stuff it's part of a pattern...). We do get some rapid/compulsive speech moments, the one I can think of most recently is in DWS when Kurt's poised to rabbit off all of Whitney Houston's accomplishments (and Blaine quiets him, so Blaine must have experience with Kurt in this mode) there's also when he loses Mercedes' interest at Breadstix with Blaine (there's other stuff going on in that scene too, but Kurt's very quick with his speech, almost manic seeming).

Do we count singing and dancing as a physical expression of emotions? When Kurt is very emotional, he sings it out (so do a lot of the Gleeks, but it's notable with Kurt as a way of not only expressing but of processing & transforming). Competitive? Yes. See "Wheels" and "Original Song" in particular. Compulsive Organizing? I suspect yes. I can't think of Kurt as not being obsessively organized, but this may be more head-canon than explicit. He probably doesn't sleep a lot either, given everything the boy seems to accomplish. There's also the twirling of things and the physicality of his solo performances.

• Sensual-wise: I think this one is most obvious so I won't list examples, unless you want me to? Kurt's a lover of so many arts to stimulate and satisfy so many senses: fashion (visual and tactile), music (auditory, imaginational, too), cooking (visual, tactile, taste, smell), dance (motion), drama (imaginational, too).

• Intellectual-wise: Most of the stuff I mentioned above, but particularly his atheism, IMO. He's certainly an independent thinker and not prone to being bent by peer pressure. Kurt tells us being different is the best thing about him. Also, his linguistic precociousness, i.e., he doesn't talk like Burt. Sometimes it's like they're speaking different languages. Also, Kurt & French words.

• Imaginational-wise: Kurt is a magician, and this links in with my blather about Kurt as a powerful Animus archetype, so I think this aspect is very strong with Kurt (like the sensual stuff). He helps create dreams for others, manages dreams, transports dreams. He's a romantic and an idealist. He's definitely got a sense of humour (uses it well to diffuse conflict). Obviously he loves music, drama, etc. I think his lack of back-up plans to get to NYADA may be part of this, too.

• Emotional-wise: We've got stuff like his perfectionism & attention to detail, (indicate anxiety management as well as idealism & Emma's the only one who has him beat on this count), his passion, compassion, empathy, morality, difficulties with change (see "Special Education"), and also stuff like his narcissism, moments of contempt for others, and his tendency to hold himself apart, loneliness (narcissiom & moments of contempt are not unexpected coping skills for a boy who feels too much and too differently, I don't mean them pejoratively) his anger in "Britany/Brittany"... Crying easily. Stuff like that.

Okay, so I may just be pulling this all out of my bum, but that's the short (eh... not really), rapidly thrown together version of Reasons Why I think Kurt May Be Gifted. :) (Sorry again to be so late with a reply to you). I hope this is coherent. My brain is a disaster zone most of the time. I may aim to put something a bit better organized together at some point, but I hope this is a sufficient initial explanation of my wayward hypothesis. :)

likeasouffle: (Default)

Kurt and Rachel - getting what they want [Season 4 spoilers]

[personal profile] likeasouffle 2012-08-31 09:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a head canon that:
A) Rachel gets what she wants
B) but it doesn't usually work out,
C) Kurt doesn't get what he wants
D) but it does work out in the end.

For example, Rachel got the boyfriend she's wanted since the pilot, Finn, but they're always fighting, breaking up, cheating on each other, etc. Kurt didn't get Finn as a boyfriend, but did get him as a brother, and Finn is very protective toward him and gives him a sense of family, which is very important to Kurt.

[season 4 spoilers]
Also Rachel got into NYADA, and it turns out to be extremely hard and competitive, and she no longer feels special. Kurt didn't get into NYADA, but now he's forced to consider other options, and is going into fashion, which is SO right for him.

This head canon is only half formed so it might not make sense, but there you go.
misqueue: grey titmouse(?) sitting amongst blossoms (Default)

Re: Kurt and Rachel - getting what they want [Season 4 spoilers]

[personal profile] misqueue 2012-09-02 09:11 am (UTC)(link)
This is a good head canon and goes well with what I think is Kurt's most admirable virtue and strength: his emotional resilience. It really is an aspect of his character that, frankly, awes me at times.
crown_of_weeds: (Default)

[personal profile] crown_of_weeds 2012-09-05 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
Heeeeeeey, this comm still exists, and it's still beautiful and happy! :D

I wanted to ask, since it seems topical, if you all have seen the conversation over at http://silverkit.livejournal.com/396236.html about Kurt and Alexander McQueen?

And, misqueue, I LOVE the but about animus archetype. That's a beautifully concise way to put it, thank you!