November 14th, 2019.
A YouTube channel named Unus Annus was created by famous Youtubers Markiplier (Mark Fishbach) and CrankGameplays (Ethan Nestor-Darling).
The premise was simple. Once a day, a new video would be uploaded onto this new channel, but after one year, not only would they cease to produce and upload more, the channel and all affiliated products (merchandise and the like), would be deleted and discontinued.
The presentation of this new channel, however, was initially a grave departure from most of the content that Mark and Ethan had produced at that point. Nowhere is this more evident than in the first video. “We spend our lives taking each second for granted. But what would you do if you knew how much time you really had left?” This sinister tone served to make it very clear what the purpose of this new channel was. To remind all those at home watching that death comes for everything, and everyone. Or, as they plainly put it, Memento Mori. This being a philosophical term about death’s inevitability.
And so, the clock began to tick down. Videos began to be posted, and by and large, it was much of the same content that Mark and Ethan thrived in.
Goofy, nonsensical, and hilarious.
“Cooking with Sex Toys”, “Ethan Kidnapped Mark”, “Ethan Roasts Mark for 15 Minutes”, “2 Truths and 1 Lie – Waxing Edition”, “2 Grown Men Attempt the Presidential Fitness Test”, “Ethan destroys Mark’s Van with a Bat.” are just a few examples of the whimsical ideas that Ethan and Mark uploaded. However, the reality that time was always running out was always present, as each video began and ended with an ominous countdown, displaying the time that was remaining.
However, this inevitably almost took a backseat throughout the entire experience. Sure, the countdown was always there, the looming end was always hanging over the channel, but fans blotted it out.
The content, the merchandise, the memes, the memories. They didn’t stop. But fate is nothing if not a cruel mistress, and almost as quickly as the channel appeared, it’s dying days were upon it. Some, understandable, were not ready to see the end. But others didn’t see it that way. They knew that the day was inevitable, and that the principle upon which the channel had been built on would be honoured,
And, on November 14th, 2020, a turbulent year to say the least, the day of reckoning arrived.
A 12-hour long livestream was announced on the final day, to look back on the year that was filled with blistering highs and crippling lows. A year that will no doubt never be forgotten to anyone involved, and anyone lucky enough to have experienced it.
But just as they promised a year ago, death would arrive. And, at midnight, the journey came to its end. All that remained would be the memories.
Unus Annus was no more.
Memento Mori. Remember Death.