Commentary via twitter:
Then today Buttercup and I are having a conversation and she has to remind me about the premise of The Hunger Games. I had heard about this book an anomalously frequent number of times, and so saw the movie. It didn't stick. Afterward I visit wikipedia to get the scoop on this franchise.
Collins has said that the inspiration for The Hunger Games came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw footage of the invasion of Iraq. The two "began to blur in this very unsettling way" and the idea for the book was formed. The Greek myth of Theseus served as a major basis for the story...Then I wonder, "How does a story become a social bumper, pushing us away from distasteful outcomes like Brave New World? Or become a buffer, cushioning the social conscience against bitter, but eventual outcomes like Nineteen Eighty-Four?