Keep Off The Barley
Tom Artrocker catches up on some mid-noughties comedy and finds the world's become the stage
Just the other day Jack, who shoots and edits our videos, stumbled out of his work room and delivered a warning: "I've just been watching Nathan Barley on 4OD, I haven't seen it since it was broadcast and I'm warning you all...Do not watch it!"
Well, that's like a red rag to a bull as far as I'm concerned, so the first chance I had I sifted through the Channel 4 player and located the first episode. I sat in an armchair and watched it, in horror. Jack was right, I shouldn't have gone there.
At the time I found it amusing, having a pop at the Shoreditchers, a little far fetched, stretched to fit a comedy situation, all a bit over the top, as all good satire tends to be. I didn't necessarily identify any of the characters as people I knew, thank God.
But in the intervening years (Barley was first broadcast in 2005) it's all come true. The Barleys are all around us, although in Hackney rather than Shoreditch.
Take my word for it, if you run a website, gallery, coffee bar, venue, magazine, PR company, production house or bar, or maybe work in video, journalism or 'content creation' as we like to say these days then you do not want to watch Nathan Barley.
You may not be Barley but I guarantee you're in there somewhere. I was.
So I watched episode 1, felt nauseous, and resolved to leave it there for the sake of my own self-worth.
You should do the same. I ignored Jack and regretted it.
And the most worrying thing about it was that I found myself thinking: 'trashbat.co.ck looks like a real fun website'. Which is a rather sad comment on websites in 2012 don't you think?