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Good Time

Dancing the Charleston

On a cruise to India around the Cape of Good Hope, Aldous Huxley laments the behavior of his fellow passengers. The following is from his 1926 collection of essays entitled Jesting Pilate:

Everybody in the ship menaces us with the prospect of a very “good time” in India. A good time means going to the races, playing bridge, drinking cocktails, dancing till four in the morning, and talking about nothing. And meanwhile the beautiful, the incredible world in which we live awaits our exploration, and life is short, and time flows stanchlessly, like blood from a mortal wound. And there is all knowledge, all art. There are men and women, the innumerable living, and, in books, the souls of those dead who deserved to be immortal. Heaven preserve me, in such a world, from having a Good Time! Heaven helps those who help themselves. I shall see to it that my time in India is as bad as I can make it.

I like Aldous Huxley. I admire his questing mind and, with him, deplore those who pretend to be “with it” but who actually are as boring as drying paint.