I was looking at some old stuff on my computer, and came up with Todd Richard Branch's famous Manifesto (and I'm choosing the word "Manifesto" with care).
For your viewing pleasure, here it is...
Greetings, Pleasantries, & Salutations!
Welcome to my home page. My name is Todd Richard Branch
I was born on August 30, 1971, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I am the eldest son of Les & Sharon, and I have one brother, who is four years my junior, named Tim. I would also like to mention my grandmother, Margaret Johns (whom I call "Nan"), and my aunt, Donna Johns (whom I call "Ciss"), who is married to Henry Szymanski. The rest of my in-laws--or outlaws, as some of them should be more appropriately referred to as--really aren't worth noting here. However, I do have a number of friends who are very near and dear to me that I would like acknowledge: Erwin & Shelly Delarmente, Donald & Michelle Fetter, Chuck Hunter, Michael Kopinak, Michael & Sara Rumsey, Brandon & Marilee Stander, and Laila Velocci. Without a doubt, you could search the world over from now until the end of humanity and never find people with more dynamic personalities, incredible strength of character, or indefatigable spirits, than the aforementioned ladies and gentlemen.
Well now that you know the basic "formalities", let me tell you about some of my personal thoughts and feelings which will hopefully give you a better understanding of my character:
In many ways, I think of myself as the last of a dying breed--a species near extinction: a scholar and a gentleman, a knight and a warrior. I think that the only "true" men are self-made. I believe in saying "yes please" and "no thank you." I think you should look people straight in the eye when you speak to them and tell them nothing but the truth at all times; a real man wears polished wingtips and never lets his hair get long enough to touch his collar; he writes with a gold fountain pen and tells time with a gold watch; his suits are dark and made to measure; his shirts are white and pressed with french cuffs; he has a firm handshake and a warm smile; he never treats a lady with anything other than respect, and he commands respect from others; he never lets a friend down or an enemy get up; he kisses his mother whenever he sees her, and he always abides by his father's rules; he is proud of his achievements yet humble before God; he salutes the flag and upholds human rights; he buys anything that small children are selling, and he is thankful for all gifts that he receives; he is passionate about life, but he is willing to die for a just cause; he is hard enough to kill and soft enough to love; he is tempered by adversity and proven in crises; he has gravel in his gut and spit in his eye; he plays to win; he walks the talk; he toes the line; he goes the distance; he speaks his mind; he casts his vote; his word is his bond; and he fights the good fight--no matter what! True men have courage, charisma, character, class, and style.
Furthermore, I believe that life has but a few simple pleasures, some of which include: money, power, golf, sailing, flying, and friendship. I like red meat, fast cars, beautiful women, well-aged wine, fine cigars, and a good fight. I have a very obnoxious, cocky, and arrogant personality. I am pretentious and materialistic. I don't trust too many people. I think that you're well advised to "cover your ass" at all times. And I must agree with the majority of Machiavelli's thoughts on life.
In general, I would say that I'm the kind of guy most people love to hate, though they respect my forthright style and uncompromising honesty. Those closest to me would no doubt describe me as overly ambitious--driven beyond reason and sanity. Nevertheless, I'm sure that my friends would also state that a hopeless romantic at heart--if given the right circumstances. "You just have to get to know him."
I do not believe that all people are equal. The notion that no one, individual life is worth any more or any less than another is absolutely absurd. However, I do believe that all people were created with the potential to be equal. And it is each and every person's "potentialities"--the potential to learn; the potential to grow; the potential do good; the potential to teach, to share, to give, to question, to dream, to care, to help, to love--that give value and meaning and to an individual's life. It is society's, as well as our own personal, awesome reponsibility, to ensure that every living man, woman and child, be given the chance to fully realize his or her potentialties--to completely develop one's character, to maximize life's experiences, and to achieve personal fulfillment and inner peace. Thus, I am firmly committed to guaranteeing that all persons should have access to the same resources and be granted equal opportunities.
Life is what you make of it. It has nothing to do with fate, destiny, luck, the environment, four-leaf clovers, lucky rabbits' feet, black magic, the alignment of the stars and planets, or any other type of clandestine force. Each of us has our own wide-open pasture to do with as we see fit. But in effect, to find true happiness, we have to be willing to plant the seeds and then nurture their growth:
As Anthony Robbins has put it: "What would happen if you went to the soil and said, "Give me some plants. Give me some fruit."? -- The soil would probably respond by saying, "Excuse me, sir, but you're a little confused. You must be new here; that's not the way the game is played." Then it would explain that you have to plant the seeds. You have to water them and till the soil. You have to fertilize them. You have to protect them and nurture them and take care of them. And only then--providing you do it well--will you get your plants or your fruit sometime in the future--maybe. You could ask of the pasture forever, but it wouldn't change things. You have to keep giving, keep trying, keep working, to have just a chance--just a chance --of reaping any bounty. Life is exactly the same way." In other words, to get more out of life, you have to give more of yourself.
Life is a fight, a struggle, a never-ending battle. And most of the time it's not fair or easy or just. Nevertheless, you still have choices you can make: You can choose to participate, or you can choose to spectate. You can choose to try, or you can choose to quit. You can choose to care, or you can choose to be apathetic. I choose to participate. I choose to try. I choose to care. My advice to you is this: whatever you choose, choose wisely.
Todd Richard Branch