SHEDNOTES 73: The Nathan Barley effect

The Shed is always up for an attack on metropolitan trendiness and therefore enjoyed Andrew Harrison’s in the Guardian of 10.2.15, under the heading Totally Mexico! How the Nathan Barley nightmare came true.
Harrison summed up: “Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris’s 2005 TV series was a comedy about a ludicrous ‘self-facilitating media node’ in east London. But 10 years on, it looks more like a documentary about the future.
“Nathan was conceived in the early noughties as a snapshot of a small and ludicrous slice of east London. He wasn’t supposed to last. But he hasn’t just survived; he’s metastasised. The startups and creative consultancies of every other digital hub from Silicon Roundabout to Silicon Alley resemble nothing so much as Nathan’s world of office juice bars, indoor scootering and open-plan thinkpods, plus vast injections of venture capital cash.”

Harrison fingered Russell Brand, as a guru who would have conned Nathan’s world perfectly, and cereal cafes, ball pools for grown-ups and a lot of telly and internet, as further evidence that “our world has been Barleyed”.
The Shed observes that Barleyisation has affected politics, too, and therefore claims this post as a contribution to The Shed’s election coverage.
Since the Transport & General Workers Union became Unite and government initiatives started taking titles like Respect, real politics has been Barleyed aside.
The Shed admits to an uneasy feeling that it might itself be included in Harrison’s claim: “We are all self-facilitating media nodes now.”
Read his diatribe in full at


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