After participating in The Depravity Scale survey (see part 1 of this post for more on the scale and The Rock of Love Bus), I brainstormed with my fellow survey taker for more uses for the depravity scale. We came up with quite a few - some publishable, some not. Perhaps it's fitting that I'm writing this while watching Rachel Maddow, who is talking about, and I quote, tea-bagging politicians and former Gov. Blagojevich. No sense of irony there.

(In a related note, Blago is asking a federal judge to allow him to travel, if his bond was increased, to Costa Rica to participate in NBC's new reality show, "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!" The impeached governor reportedly is broke and believes the show could help finance his legal defense, says this article.)

So, the first list, inspired by the Blago and the Rock of Love Bus, is anything with "real" in the title, from 1 (least depraved) to 10 (most depraved):

1. Real numbers: Comprising both the rational and irrational numbers, real numbers have been around since 1000-500 B.C.E. when Egyptian, Indian and Greek mathematicians realized they needed imaginary numbers (so by default there had to be real numbers). Not so depraved.

2. Surrealism: A philosophical and cultural movement inspired by Dadaism post-World War I, probably most widely known for works of art by Salvador Dali and Juan Miro (you may also know Max Ernst and Rene Magritte). Surrealists embraced free association, spontaneity, automatism; they revolted against rational and bourgeois traditions. Not depraved, just kind of weird and not pretty.

3. Real Men of Genius commercials: Ok, I admit I laugh my head off when I hear these. Love 'em. And they changed the name after 9/11 from Real American Heroes because they didn't want to use the word hero in a parody when so many were actual real American heroes. So bonus points for that. But tobacco companies got in big trouble for allegedly targeting kids with Joe Camel - can you draw parallels to funny songs that play on the radio?

4. Reality Bites: This one could fit in a number of spots on this list, depending on your feelings about Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Stiller, Renee Zellweger, Generation X, and the inevitable crossroads of any post-high school malcontent: art to put food on the table versus art for art's sake. Captured the time (1994) well, but for crying out the window, get over yourselves!

5. Real Madrid: One of the most successful soccer (football, ex-U.S.) teams of the 20th century, according to the International Federation of Association Football. You could make the case for sports being devoid of morality, I suppose, but a soccer team in and of itself isn't so depraved. But the fans and real estate deals are another story and kicked them up a notch to spot #5.

6. Life is Real (Song For Lennon): Music can inspire thoughts of heaven or hell; the use of minor key is a excellent way to set the mood for the latter. Queen wrote some of the arguably most enduring anthems of our time - and Freddie Mercury is an interesting study in depravity all by himself - but one of their songs, Life is Real (Song For Lennon), makes our list. Guilt stains on my pillow? Blood on my terraces? Torsos in my closet? Sounds like you might want to call your lawyer.

7. Real World, various locations: The first few seasons were groundbreaking - a handful of strangers thrown together in a house, turn on a camera and watch what happens. In one of the few bright spots in this show's 21 seasons (slated to continue through season 26 at least), the third season (1994) featured one of the first openly gay men with AIDS and the trials and tribulations of living with AIDS was captured by the popular media. But now the show has degenerated into just another reality show, filming egotistical frat boys and clueless strippers-in-training going through the artificial reality motions.

8. Real estate agents who fronted or doubled as mortgage brokers: If you do not live under a rock, you know why these people made the list. Two words: housing crisis.

9. Real Housewives, various locations: The plague started in Orange County and spread to Atlanta, NYC and New Jersey. Apparently the Bravo Network has a new car wreck in the works, Real Kids of Orange County. The kids will probably have more "real" parts than the housewives, who have parts that were just a twinkle in a scientist's eye a few months ago. How is this reality TV? Whose reality? And why are we glorifying the "lavish, vapid and meaningless lifestyles" (according to Wikipedia) of these out-of-touch-with-reality fame-mongers?

10. Reality TV
: See numbers 7 and 9. First, it's a misnomer: it claims to be "reality" but clearly features the opposite. Two, it amasses any and all gold diggers desperate for their 15 minutes of fame - and willing to trade any shred of dignity they may have left for that fame. Three, any genre that actively tries to promote OctoMom, Blago, Paris Hilton, Ozzy Osbourne and more deserves this top spot on the depravity scale.

Stay tuned for the next list!