Saturday, August 06, 2005
True, Corso and Ginsberg were friends, but it is clear that Corso was often beyond competitive, and just downright jealous. Almost insane with jealousy in fact.
The best example, one that blows up in your face, is from the film THE SOURCE. There's a scene where Corso and Ginsberg are sitting on a bench (I think it's a bench), and Corso erupts, "MY BOOK CAME OUT FIRST!" It was just, simply, astounding, seeing this. Not just because of Corso, who obviously had some serious issues about fame, but mostly the scene is wonderful because of Ginsberg, who pats him on the knee, and without saying a single word. Just a little, "there-there" pat for his friend who is acting crazy.
The thing that made that relationship work --obviously-- was Gisnberg's immense patience. It would be easy to get sick of such outbursts, especially since those books had come out 40 years before that documentary was even produced. It was one of those blinks of evidence that Ginsberg was the generous soul, calm and understanding. It's such a beautiful, loving moment when Ginsberg pats Corso because in a way it actually PROTECTS Corso from our witness. It's Ginsberg's way of saying, "Don't judge this man too harshly, I love him, he's my friend, he says stupid things, but he's okay, so don't hate him." It's nice, and it works, at least it worked for me, because I remember thinking, "Okay, Ginsberg didn't roll his eyes, or yell back, he just made the gesture toward understanding and compassion. If he's not upset then why should I be?"
I remember seeing that film at the movie theater with my friend Janet Mason, and that was the scene where we looked at each other and BURST OUT LAUGHING! That outburst of Corso's was so unexpected and outrageous. But for me it took seeing the film a second time to fully absorb the most amazing part of the scene, which is all about Ginsberg. You fall in love with the man, right then and there, if you weren't already. I mean, REALLY, Ginsberg could make compassion SO SEXY! OOOO WEEEE! LOVE that man!