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If you're anything like me, you're constantly, pants-soilingly furious that the world hadn't given you your due. "Damn you, you motherfuckers!" I scream every morning at the world, or more accurately, the portion of the world visible from my front door - which includes a length of sidewalk and a day care across the street. "If there was any justice in the world, I'd be carried around on the backs of people like you," I tell fellow commuters at the bus stop, who often concede my point and offer to make space for me as a sort of token reparation. "When I'm in charge, pants will be an option, and not the chains of your tyranny," I tell the human resources director, again every morning. But unlike you, with your Cheetos stained fingers and Cheetos stained private parts, I've actually got the tools to correct these deficiencies in the world, to bend these simpler minds to appreciate the glory I have hammered out with my brain. Although there's some ethical issues with this (it's completely unethical, that's the main one) I feel I've learned enough from my experience to share these techniques of manipulation and coercion with you. Whether you use these persuasion techniques to start your own cult of personality, or merely get a date, I wish you well on your journey.

#10: Rational and Coherent Arguments

Difficulty: 4 Effectiveness: 1 If you were to go to the library, and start shrieking demands at the clerk to research the best persuasion techniques history has recorded, you might hear a timid suggestion that you deploy a rational, well thought out argument, instead of, for example, wailing obscenities. This is because the pale and wan folk who live in this world filled with the words of dead men know nothing of the gentle caress of sunlight, nor how the world actually works.

Also, they hate the son of Hercules.

How the world works is this: it doesn't, because it is full of incredibly stupid people. Laying out a rational, well reasoned argument to an average American is like wearing a condom while eating at Burger King - it's ineffectual and makes everyone present confused and lose their appetites. The kind of mind that looks at a can of Axe Bodyspray and thinks "Hmmm, that's not a bad idea," is completely immune to the powers of evidence and logic. An Example: "Hey, friend, would you like to listen to me for a second? Worry not, you can continue to eat your tacos while you listen. How about you join me in my effort to make the world a better place. As you can see by the way my shoes have shoelaces, I've got a better handle on life than you do. This could really be a win-win for both of us."

Look at these gorgeous motherfuckers. These shoes could run your life better than you.

#9: Oration

Difficulty: 6 Effectiveness: 2 By using well understood verbal and rhetorical techniques like pacing and voice modulation, in concert with powerful teeth whiteners, you'll be able to convince mass groups of people that despite what authorities and their own instincts tell them, yes, you should be put in charge of that parks board/state senate/volcano warning system and left to yourself, unhindered by prying regulators.


Unfortunately good public speaking skills don't come easy, and may be impossible for some people (Floridians) to learn at all. A larger problem, again, is the people themselves, with their corn-like intelligences. While the will be readily convinced while you're actually talking, as soon as you go away, they're apt to forget everything you said, and return to rooting around in their own assholes, or whatever they were doing before you started talking. An Example: "Attention friends! I'm looking for smart, intelligent, well-odored people, just like yourselves, to join me on an exciting adventure. Look at my teeth. LOOK AT MY TEETH. See the honesty and smell the future people!"

"I can seriously bite a pencil in half."

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#8: Become a Coach

Difficulty: 5 Effectiveness: 7 This classic, Svengali-esque method, involves taking on a legitimate position of authority with a wide mandate over your targets' lives, which dramatically increases the odds that they will be deferential to your morally dubious words. You'll soon have a ready made group of intermediate level ballroom dancers just waiting to be hurled into a fight with government agents, who will rue the day they ever entered your adult learning annex of the malevolent arts. The specifics of this technique involve alternating use of both generous praise and relentless, childish bullying - basically an escalated carrot and stick approach. I like tying my carrot to the stick with a short length of string, and using it as a flail. Then when I need to reward the students, I simply turn it around and strike them with the carrot end.

Sometimes I'll douse a few in LSD and serve them to schoolchildren.

An Example: "CINDY YOU STUPID COW! In my basic PC skills class, you will follow my instructions to the letter! Just like Sandra is doing. Very good Sandra. Not like Cindy. Between you and me, I think her parents nursed her with kerosene. Yes I know that more than just you and me heard that."

#7: Become a Media Mogul

Difficulty: 10 Effectiveness: 8 People like Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey have an outsized influence on the thinking of modern society, in a way that David Spade doesn't, because of the massive media empires they've established. Whether it's indirect, like the world-spanning conservative media empire Murdoch has established, or intimate like the personality driven Oprah-cracy Ms. Winfrey has built, a huge number of the public discussions today are influenced by these individuals. Now what's stopping you from doing the same?

Lack of stretch pants?

Also no talent and resources and charm? Even if you did possess these characteristics, it's hard work. I've been working on this myself for a few years, in the form of a column at a middle-brow comedy site. Building your audience isn't easy, and thanks to setbacks like that one mass suicide in 2009, it's slow work, burdened by tedious, transparent self promotion. Beyond that, the only other advice I can offer is to read my column every week, and write the url for it (http://www.cracked.com/blog/author/chris-bucholz/) on various surfaces around your home town.

Highly visible tattoos are also acceptable.

An Example: "Beyond that, the only other advice I can offer is to read my column every week, and write the url for it (http://www.cracked.com/blog/author/chris-bucholz/) on various surfaces around your home town." - Chris Bucholz, February 1, 2011
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#6: Show Them the Money

Difficulty: 2 Effectiveness: 5 When I find that I can't convince people with my words, I can usually convince them with my fists, assuming those fists are clutching wads of money. It turns out that - thanks to a primitive instinctual lust for Prada handbags inherited from our caveman ancestors - there're few humans alive that can't be bought.

Except for the people who make the bags of course. They envy no man.

Of course from a strictly technical sense, this isn't bending someone to your will, as much as it is securing temporary, conditional cooperation. To get these people in your camp permanently, you're going to need a steady supply of money to get them addicted and then dependent on your largess. If you have that media empire already, this shouldn't be too tricky. Alternately try leveraging an initial bribe to access the public treasury. This is called a kleptocracy, and there are absolutely no downsides to one, so long as you're the one perpetrating it. An Example: "Do you think that if there were three $20 bills in that ditch over there you could go have a good look at them for about 15 minutes, with your back turned to this container truck full of thorium? That's a sport. There might even be a fourth twenty if you look long enough."

Just stare at the sky for a few more wheels and everything will be OK.

#5: Hold the Whole World Hostage

Difficulty: 10 Effectiveness: 6 This is the most difficult entry on this list simply due to the problem of finding a credible way to actually threaten the world. Getting your hands on a nuclear weapon is the obvious choice, but given the tight security those are under, it might be more realistic to threaten the world with a man made plague, or an ancient dragon that only listens to you. Regardless of your chosen menace delivery vector, once you're ready, you'll need to contact the world (use the hashtag #HeedMeFools on Twitter) and issue your list of demands.

Perhaps if I just solder dozens of Komodo dragons together. There is no way that wouldn't be worth at least a shot.

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#4: Petnapping

Difficulty: 1 Effectiveness: 7 This one's pretty straightforward to execute, and the only equipment you'll really need is a piece of meat and a box propped up with a stick. After seizing the beast, leave a note explaining what's up (immediate, permanent obedience) and what will also be up (animal soup) should their obedience be anything less than permanent. An Example: "I HAVE YOUR CAT. YOU WILL REPORT TO THE ARBY'S OFF MAIN STREET AT 7:30AM TOMORROW TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION ON SUBTERRANEAN FORTRESS BENEATH ARBY'S OR THE CAT WILL BECOME BEEF N' CHED'S."

Every knee shall bow. In the direction of the Arby's off of Main Street.

#3: Arm Twisting

Difficulty: 2 Effectiveness: 2 By grabbing someone by the wrist and twisting it around behind their back, placing pressure on their elbow and shoulder joints, you'll find them agreeable to a great many things. This can also be supplemented with slaps and other physical blows, to further ensure compliance to your will. Obviously this is a short term plan only, and unless you're extremely strong (e.g. "I'll punch you so hard your whole family will die") you'll only be able to influence one person at a time. An Example: "Hey, hey, hey. Hey! How about you stop struggling? You think you can do your city clerking with only one arm? Yes, I guess management could work with you to modify your job duties. Especially if the union got involved. But... Ok... But... SHUT UP! Let's just go nicely into the back room and see if we can't find some blueprints."

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#2: Gun hidden in a newspaper

Difficulty: 2 Effectiveness: 4 A classic from the silver screen, having a gun concealed in a newspaper, is a sure way to get someone to do what you want, provided you stay about 2-3 feet away from them at all times. Like the armtwisting technique above, this poses a problem if you need to bend several people to your will at once. If you do need to influence multiple people at once, you're going to have to pull a kind of Reservoir Dogs scheme, where you demand your target keep a gun hidden in a newspaper on another person, who keeps a gun on another person and so on, until there's a whole chain of people stiffly holding newspapers, playing the deadliest game of "telephone" ever. An Example: "Hey do you know who won the game last night? Oh look, I've got the sports page right here. It was 'I'm Going To Shoot You in the Fucking Kidney over the Lakers, 94-88.' Now give me the access code. Yes to the penthouse. Yes, his penthouse."

"Now unzip your pants."

#1: Hypnosis

Difficulty: 9 Effectiveness: 10 Here's where we get to the good stuff. Using the three classic hypnotism techniques: suggestion, brainwashing, and microscopic robots, you will plant ideas in people's brains so convincing, that they'll think they're their own. The conventional way to do this is in front of an audience of seniors while wearing a kind of bad haircut, but if you want a more classic approach, try practicing your craft while traveling from town to town in a covered wagon.

If this wagon's a-rockin, vile plots are a-foot.

Health & Safety Warning: Be very careful with these techniques in the bathroom, as a number of apprentice hypnotists have accidentally suggested obeying themselves to themselves in the mirror, and gotten agreeably stuck there for days.

An Example: "Look into my eyes. Look deep into my eyes. You are my iron fist. You are my will. You are the sharpest tool in my shed. Here, beneath this Arby's you will learn the skills you need to enact the final phase of my plan: breaking into Christian Bale's apartment and stealing a lock of his hair." "Because then, and only then, will all be right in the world." _______________

Bucholz has gotten less terrified of human contact! Make him reconsider that by Liking His Facebook page or Following Him On Twitter!

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