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In praise of the Twitterati who think Titanic never happened

Some Twitter users seem to believe that "Titanic" was only a film. Yes, a film that was totally made up. Isn't it all a little unfair to beat up on kids who are merely being honest?

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's easy to feel superior.

You must stretch your neck to its fullest, talk downward, and make sure you've got Wikipedia open at the right page.

So one shouldn't feel surprised that there was something of an outpouring of glee when some Twitter users -- who must surely all be "Glee" fans -- began to suddenly admit that they thought "Titanic" was, you know, just a movie.

Yes, a movie based on the late-night, absinthe-fueled imaginings of a screenwriter's mind.

Apparently, it all started when a tweeter with the handle Boring as Heck began retweeting posts such as: "only just found out Titanic was real #wtf."

This led to a Tumblr feed listing all those tweets.

Soon, journalists were commenting that this was "worrying."

One commentator even noted of Twitter's young and hopeful: "We worry about your level of intelligence. In fact, this latest incident has just proved that you're a bit dumb. Actually you're dumber than a bucket of hair."

But why would lively, inquiring minds imagine that a movie as cliched and lifeless as "Titanic" would reflect some kind of, well, real event?

The Twitterati surely know that most movies that somehow claim to be based on real events are such twisted versions that the events themselves are, at best, a backdrop to some formulaic "boy-has-dog-meets-girl-tragedy-happens-someone-dies" Hollywood palliative.

It has come to the point, surely, that the alleged reality of events is simply ignored. And the Titanic happened, oh, centuries ago. We had that Italian boat keel over just the other month. That was far more real. It was a movie on YouTube.

Surely our socially engrossed youth cannot be expected to know everything that happened a hundred years ago when we can't be bothered to spend too much cash on education, being far too busy making contemporary history of an especially difficult kind.

In any case, politicians routinely spend most of their waking hours -- and, in the case of quite a few, their bedtime hours too -- claiming that all sorts of things never happened. And we, the people, continue to vote for them in the same way -- as if nothing really happened.

Some might, on due consideration, find it slightly troubling that people want to criticize, say, Charlotte Hall for not knowing that a ship went down all those years ago -- gosh, with an Astor on board -- when Zac Efron's very real existence is simply far more important to her.

Some might also consider that "Titanic" was a dull, poorly written, and vaguely unbelievable movie. Perhaps it's the most artistically discerning of Twitterers who never imagined it was based on something real.

If we were really going to sit in judgment on human ignorance, mightn't we look at ourselves collectively first before giggling at some kids who are, at best, being sweetly, tweetly honest?

Indeed, if the people who make really important decisions (or don't) could be as honest about their ignorance as these kids, perhaps some good things might actually get done.