No, the Roman vomitorium was not a room where Roman partiers threw up and then returned to the orgy. At the same time, the practice was done back in the BCE days, though it was looked down upon as totally decadent.
Perhaps that's why it is a fitting reference in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Peeta Mellark is offered a purgative at a wild, lavish party at the Capitol, but he turns it down, noting the irony of the situation. While his people in District 12 starve, hedonists in the Capitol throw up their food so they can eat more. Plus the fact that they cheer for their favorite tributes during the Quarter Quell Games, despite the fact that this also means these tributes are more or less forced to kill or be killed. For the delight of the audience, they are also forced to endure messed up psychological tricks against them, again to feed the decadent "hunger" of the audience.
The social satire of the film is quite obvious, but no less effective, especially these days. While our President vacations in the luxury of Hawaii, golfing and going to the beach, masses of people are losing their health care under the law he pushed through the Congress. The oligarchy makes the rules, creates hardships for everyone else, supposedly for the sake of fairness or fun or whatever, and they're the ones who remain untouched.
I realize that Hunger Games isn't a political film--it's good science fiction mixed with social satire and some great action, but as I watched it, I couldn't help but make the connection. Maybe I'm watching the news too much, but I think not. Rather, it is a reminder that though we live in a country filled with laws and government, we are all responsible for making sure that the government doesn't take things so far as to belittle our humanity or step on our basic human rights.
I don't know if I'll see the third and fourth installments of the Hunger Games films, but this one, at least, offered me an extremely important reminder about how responsible each person is for maintaining and preserving freedom for all, so that decadent oligarchs don't use the rest of us as pawns in their own, personal entertainment.
The clip below is from the first Hunger Games, but it speaks to the general theme.
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Culture is all around us, in the city, the country, everywhere. We see it from the old world and the new, and as Catholics, we have a rich tradition of developing Western culture throughout our history.