How to Act Like a Gangster

Mara Salvatrucha (MS, Mara, and MS-13) is a transnational
criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles.

This post is a reworking of an actual story I found on the Internet with the above headline. 

I have to say I honestly think it is the most irresponsible and dangerous act of  "content creation" in the infamous format of a "list" on the Internet.

The five steps to "acting like a gangster" can easily get you killed if you're foolish enough to try them. It only depends on how far you are willing to take your "acting."

The word gangster means different things to different people, depending on their culture. In America the term is somewhat vague and usually refers to two basic types of gangster: the street gang member, or gangbanger, and the mobster of Italian-American organized crime. The Mafia.

For many in this culture, gangsters are gangbangers -- the street gang members, who are usually but not always urban-based, young (because they die before they can get old), male or female. They usually keep  busy by "representing" their colors, spray-painting graffiti all over the place to show their gang affiliations as well as "signing" and tattooing their gang's symbols all over their bodies. The clothes they wear can also speak volumes to those who know how to listen: which are usually other gangbangers. And cops.

Surviving mostly on the profits of drug deals that fuel their own burning addictions, these hoods regularly battle over territory and life is very cheap. The extent of how organized they are varies.

In many ways, these are the gangsters that are truly scary because they deliberately attack "citizens," meaning those who hold full-time jobs, have an identity and standing in their community and stay mostly within the confines of the law.

Practices called "wilding" and "drive by's" were once widely exploited by the media to churn out scare headlines that sold newspapers. Others are less exploited (probably because no name was ever coined for them) but are more common, such as initiation rites that involve shooting dead the first passerby, say, wearing a necktie or slashing with a razor people on the subway.

One practice in particular preys deliberately on the public: drive around in a car at night without the headlights on and shoot up the first Good Samaritan in another car that flashes its brights. 

For many others gangster means only one thing: the Italian-American Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, as portrayed in, say, The Sopranos, Goodfellas, The Godfathers I, II, and maybe the odd personal favorites, such as Chicago Overcoat and Fingers.

Since the Mafia is an insulated world, the vast majority of American citizens rarely come into contact with it. It rarely seeks to involve the tax-paying citizen unless the citizen decides he or she wants to get involved and has some kind of asset to offer the gangster. (This can also be the case with the street gangster; if someone looks for trouble, more than likely they'll find it.)

For Cosa Nostra members and associates, it is a complete lifestyle that ends in life in prison, a bullet in the head, or a new identity/opportunity to hit restart somewhere in the Midwest. Of course there are those who die of unnatural causes, such as old age, sometimes even at home and in their beds.

The Mafia doesn't advertise with colors and the closest members came to "representing" would be to hang around in front of a social club, a practice mostly taboo since the days of John Gotti, who during his reign as boss had every frigging captain in the family congregate on Mulberry Street in Little Italy at the Ravenite once a week to kiss his ass.

Cadillacs would be parked on the sidewalks, obvious wiseguys would be overflowing the since-closed social club, which was a shoe store last I checked. And the Feds would be laughing uproariously from their secret perches. 

It's ironic that so many street gangs "honor" John Gotti, perhaps because he had something of their personality. (It's been reported that when Gotti was in jail he spread the word to many gangsters honored to be in his presence behind bars to always "take em to trial!" So inspired where some of these gangbangers that they listened to Gotti--only to be slammed with 50 years instead of the five in the plea agreement.)

Older Cosa Nostra bosses had the respect of the community in which they grew up.

They knew how to cultivate the goodwill of the people by doing the occasional favor for the citizen who may have had some connections but not necessarily. This was really the Mafia's key strength, which it lost, perhaps forever. The younger men coming up were mostly focused on the quick turnaround of cash to be wrung from the drug business and didn't care about the community, while the wiser, older bosses silently collected their piece, but publicly condemned drugs and worked hard to create the perception that they would never, ever be involved with junk.

In return the mob was able to create a vast, useful network of informants, a tripwire, a first-alert buffer. It also created the perception that it was a harmless group of tough guys who doled out favors for everyone. These guys always looked like a million-dollars in their fancy suits and jewelry--all of which was purchased with money that seemingly appeared out of nowhere because these men didn't hold any kind of job, unless it was a no-show or no-work arrangement.

The truth was usually understood but easily forgotten.
Aniello Dellacroce, Gambino underboss.

Elderly grandmothers and other residents of mob neighborhoods watched the streets in those days. At the first sign of potential trouble they'd send notice to places like the Ravenite (in the pre-Gotti years) social club in Little Italy to warn Aniello Dellacroce, the consummate old-time boss, when "strange" cars or people had wandered into the neighborhood: cops, tourists or even gangbangers from the first category. "O'Neill," the legendary Little Italy strongman, no doubt checked these people out. And responded accordingly.

One thing all true gangsters share is the perception that they have been both feared and revered throughout history. (Notice the smooth transition to get on with the phony SE-optimized story to go under that headline.)

Follow these steps to achieve the quintessential gangster image and act like a gangster, regardless of cultural background!!!


1. First determine what kind of gangster image you want to portray. Evaluate your cultural environment to determine the correct path to follow in your pursuit in acting like a gangster. 

2. Understand that even in gangster culture there is a code of ethics and honor to follow. Be aware of the protocol and chain of command in the gang that you are trying to be a part of.

3.  Adapt a style that is consistent with your gangster culture. Add a personal spin to the style to make you feel more like yourself while mixing it with the gangster subculture. Carefully review any films or music styles that are coherent with the gangster image. 

4. Give yourself a nickname or ask a friend to help you adopt a nickname that goes well with your personality but has an edge. Learn the vocabulary and colloquialisms of the culture so you can seamlessly integrate this language into your speech. 

5. Always remain calm and collected even in stressful situations. Be confident and a little cocky but always aware of who your friends and enemies are. Loyalty is very important within a gang/thug culture so it's imperative that you maintain good relations with your friends.

I'm not linking to the source material. I will say this: It is connected to a blog that has not been updated since 2009.


  1. Yo yous yous

  2. Rather keep my meek little life......

  3. i like to go to walmart every morning at 3 and purchase all of their eggs so no one else can have them. i hoard them in my little goblin hut and i dont even eat them. god, i'm such a tool! i just want them to be real and be my freind. they are real but not real enough. i will never find love because i push all of the women away. they arent egg enough for my tastes. i just want to feel a warm yolky hand against my pale flesh. just once. i am so alone in my goblin hut. please god, just force all of my organs to fail, landing me in hospital on life support. then pull the plug. i will go to egg heaven.
    can anyone save me from the eternal despair that is my life? all of this started when i watched anime for the first time.
    -egg stealer 4000


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