The Greatest Documentary in the World

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2015 by marksamuels

is, from my own experience, Deep Water.

And your own personal all-time English hero and role model is, I hear the curious ask, Mr Samuels? Well, it’s one Donald Crowhurst. He blew it all. But by God did he blow it with a whole host of good reasons and with more courage than the rest. He sailed right into impossible odds and died for it.

Come on over to my garret anytime, mention Don Crowhurst and we’ll watch the documentary over a bottle of rum and our own raw salty tears.

Apparently, they’re to make Crowhurst’s journey into a biopic film directed by Scott Z Burns and with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz starring as Don and his wonderful wife.

I hope it does well and is a worthy tribute to a great, and very human, hero.

Mark S.

The Secret Glory … of Islam

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2015 by marksamuels

Mark S.


Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2015 by marksamuels

Alas, things have got so hectic (to a degree I am now working so hard on my unspeakable new novel so as to be seriously distracted) that I am forced to recycle here an old diatribe from a posting elsewhere entirely out of context just to maintain my curmudgeonly reputation. Oh well, so it goes:

Unsurprisingly I can’t say I agree with the interpretation put forward by some (inside or out) antagonists of the Catholic Church as its being merely a non-dualist “symbolic pantomime” people might go to in order to be amused or soothed into a supine pro-capitalist or algebraic form of scholastic etc etc trance. Plenty of lapsed, Modernist, Leftist, indifferent or hostile ex-Catholics may feel that way, of course, and a number of folk may only attend Mass through force of habit or tradition. Perhaps there are even some priests who actually care little for its transcendental doctrines. It wouldn’t surprise me a great deal. There has never been an age wherein the Church was free of spiritual rot. Nevertheless, I think, for the vast majority, the central question is still this: either the Church is of supernatural origin or it is not.

Anyway, I wouldn’t dismiss theology simply as mere “speculation”. I admit the teachings are not capable of empirical demonstration. I hold, however, that these same teachings delineate the foundational aspects of Catholicism, the very heart of the thing – and express its supernatural dimension.

The Church is a force that has been around for two thousand years. Its core tenets have persisted down through centuries of multiple philosophical and intellectual challenges of the highest order, from within and without. During these centuries its thinkers have shaped Western civilisation.

Take for example, Thomas (of Aquinas – rather than of Detroit). In his Summa Theologica he starts from the premise; “Is there a God? Apparently not.” The problem with modernity is that the likes of Aquinas have been buried and/or forgotten by the secular world. He starts from first principles and does not work backward from the unexamined assumptions our age wishes to find in advance.

So I suppose my point is this: There is absolutely no reason to believe that human insight into the total nature of reality and existence has reached a peak in our times.

Nevertheless, at least the atheists still debate and hold that a vital issue is at stake. I agree with them about that much at least. Either God exists or He does not. I think we can find out the truth if we think deeply enough about it. Probably not via proselytising on an internet message board, though.

Still, if there’s one form of proselytising so prevalent in the modern world that most people have stopped even noticing it, it’s this: the contemporary creed of relativism, wherein all differences of opinion are afforded the same weight and status, informed or otherwise. This creed has tremendous influence – and is perhaps the most powerful tool for generating cynical indifference that has ever existed, as well as being the least capable at arriving at the truth.

Mark S.

Two Sides to the Same Story

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2015 by marksamuels

I don’t know why I’m posting this here, except that it seems to me to be one of the best lyrical and musical representations of both sides of a shared history of brotherhood.

I love the conflicted and yet shared narratives of these subtly intertwined tracks by the NMA.


The two when taken together are just, well, fantastic. And I still can’t figure out which side I come down on. Which may have been the point all along.

Mark S.

The Will did not Perfect its Intention

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2015 by marksamuels

I came across a certain Poe letter (linked to below) regarding his immortal tale “Ligeia” in some old book many years ago, though, for the life of me, I can’t recall where. Certainly I don’t own a copy of the book containing the missive now.

Anyway, it’s full of fascination, so herewith a link to it:

Of course, the idea revealed therein, that Poe was tempted to take his story down a different track, must have lodged in my mind immovably thereafter since I ventured upon the egregiously vain idea of writing an even more radical extension to Poe’s “Ligeia”.  A thing which I actually only did years later in the form of  “Nor Unto Death Utterly”. Though, for some reason, I cannot recall anyone noting that is exactly what it was: a direct sequel to a certain Poe tale.

Mark S.

The Reign of the King In Yellow: It goes on

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2015 by marksamuels

Here’s a link to the first public appearance of a highly interesting and enthusiastic free-range interview given by Mr John Thomas Allen, the very talented Surrealist poet and editor. It references his excellent tribute to “The King In Yellow” in the shape of a poetry anthology JTA is putting out next year and which features a contribution by yours truly.

Mark S.

My Favourite Russian Film

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2015 by marksamuels

Mark, what is your favourite Russian horror film? It is a question I am often asked. And the answer is always “Mr Designer”. It is a classic. And if you haven’t seen it, then you are simply an idiot. Don’t blame me for your lack of knowledge about truly great films. Just go your own way.

Anyway, here is a taster.

Mark S.


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