THE MORNING BANTER: Corrupt Countries, Superhero Popes, Gender-Role Shakeups, and Citizenship Tests

It’s Wednesday, the day that separates the glass-half-fullers from the glass-half-empties. Here’s what’s happening on the interweb:

1. And The Award For Most Corrupt Nation Goes To … 

Each year, Transparency International releases its Corruption Perception Index, and this year, like most, the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand were at one end of the spectrum as the least-corrupt nations in the world. In the category of most-corrupt, there was a three-way tie: Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia. Upon hearing the news, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un swore to do all he could to make sure that they were number one in the future for all eternity.

2. Pope Puts On Costume, Sneaks Out of Vatican at Night to Help the Poor

An interview with the Pope’s Almoner-in-Chief Konrad Krajewski has given rise to rumors that Francis has been donning a costume of sorts and sneaking out of the Vatican at night to help the homeless. There are also rumors that he has been donning a different costume of sorts, one that strikes fear in those that wish to make others afraid, and imposing his own style of vigilante justice. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na POPEMAN!

3. What Really Makes Katniss Stand Out? Peeta, Her Movie Girlfriend

This weekend, Catching Fire raked in enormous piles of dough. Much has been said, and rightly so, about Katniss Everdeen and the way she challenges a lot of traditional narratives about girls, but one of the most unusual things about Katniss isn’t the way she defies typical gender roles for heroines, but the way Peeta, her arena partner and one of her two love interests, defies typical Hollywood versions of gender roles for boyfriends. Meaning he’s kind of her bitch throughout the whole movie…

4. Are You Smart Enough to Be a Citizen? 

To become a citizen of the United States, naturalizing immigrants must take a test. The Atlantic posted a sample Citizenship Test, and I’m proud to say that I passed with flying colors. I guess those 27 years of studying really paid off. AMERICA!