Overheard on CNN.com: Wedding bells and death knells
April 29th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Wedding bells and death knells

Exchange of the Day:
"The only normal looking person in this whole drama is the bride; the rest of them look like Martians or characters from a science fiction movie."–poulose

"You have to think of it like 'Star Wars' without the light sabers."–politauk

William and Catherine marry in royal wedding at Westminster Abbey

Two events shared center stage today: Prince William and Catherine’s wedding in London and the aftermath of a string of tornadoes that killed nearly 300 across the American Southeast. Some CNN.com readers argued over whether the coverage was balanced or appropriate, while others shared their feelings and experiences about the separate events.

alexjones999 said, “How wonderful. All of the problems in the world but the world is focused on this trivial nonsense.” bilbo0s said, “300 fellow Americans dead in Alabama. Countless lives of fellow Americans blown away in Alabama. What makes the front page? Will and Kate are getting married!!! That explains a lot about America.”

LaserMan72 said, “Which should have more priority? Over 300 people died in Storm (In USA) or Royal Wedding (Not even in USA). Give me a break.”

But mr60233 argued that “this is an international event. Look at a map. Do you see those other pieces of land? They are called countries, and believe it or not, people that are not American live in them. I am sorry 300 people died. However, tornadoes happen all the time in the USA, and people die every day. This kind of event (the wedding) happens once every 30 years or so.”

barbie1311 said, "There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a few moments out of one's life to get lost in a fairy tale. It does not take away anything from the tragedies of the world. It's all about balance."

chitown27 said, "I'm in London right now, went to Westminster this morning and it was unbelievable. Most Americans have no sense of history whatsoever, which is why the trolls keep complaining on here. It was awesome watching the procession, the history and the pomp."

Savannah416 said, "With roots in India, I am the last one to argue against comments against British colonization; however, given the state of the world today, I'm also able to set aside negative thoughts for a morning and relish the beauty of a wedding of two people who have been in love for quite awhile."

GuestColin said, “What a bunch of cranky people the lot of you are! I've bought a ring, planned it out and will be getting engaged this summer after a 3-year courtship. Best to Wills and Kate. The rest of you need to go take a nap!”

TreeTop said, “Beautiful dress. Happy couple. Awesome news!” Mjollnir said, “This seems as good a reason as any to have some gourmet food and a toast tonight. We need more reasons to celebrate. There are still good things in this world.” Ealdwulf said, “They do certainly seem to be in love.”

Shaken, dazed residents recount tornado horrors

One UK resident, checking news on both sides of the pond, wondered why there were concrete bomb shelters in British gardens but no concrete tornado shelters in the South. Other CNN.com readers shared what it was like during and after the storm.

scrubbed said, “Hell came to visit us here in Alabama on Wednesday. It was absolutely terrifying, especially once the power went out and even cell phones didn't work. All you could do was listen for the tornado sirens and pray you wouldn't be killed. We still have a house. Thousands don't. We've lost our food in the freezer, but so many lost their lives. Those of us who survived will be here for the families of those who didn't. I want my kids to understand that they have survived a very dark day in history. ln2dablue replied, “I feel for ya bro. I'm glad you made it.” crackiswhack said, “God bless and hang tight.”

BlogBlogger said, “I went out into my front lawn and removed tar paper and roofing shingles from the massive Tuscaloosa, AL, tornado and others. I live hundreds of miles away from the event. Amazing just how powerful a suction it had to put the debris into the jet stream.”

pccoder said, “Unfortunately the death toll is only going to rise. My brother-in-law is a police officer in Tuscaloosa. He saw six dead on one street late Wednesday. Once all the rubble is cleaned and the final tally is done, we're going to find that many more died than have been stated so far.”

gdcox said, “I am mystified. Over here in the U.K , where I am checking in to understand the scale of this disaster (despite the wedding), we built concrete shelters in our garden when Hitler's bombs became a threat. So how come houses are built in your area with no cellars or buried shelter when you know your lives will be occasionally threatened by a tornado? It seems all in Birmingham knew this monster was coming, but in the many stories, no one talks of running for the shelter/cellar. “

ArmanX, from Kansas, wondered the same thing. “I used to live in Kansas, and everyone had a storm cellar (or basement). Even after we filled ours in (it was falling apart), we would still go down the street to the neighbors who had a basement.”

pkt1153 replied, “The water table for many places in the south US is too high for underground basements or cellars: they would flood. An aboveground cellar made of steel or concrete is cost prohibitive for most when you consider the chances of being hit by a tornado are about 1 in 2 million (about 7 times less than being struck by lightning).

NateDawgUM agreed, “Additionally, the South is very wet and humid, so mold becomes a huge problem in basements. If you don't have a basement and you know a monster storm is on the way, it never hurts to hit up the local mall or Wal-Mart.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. snooty brit

    I say ole chap this royal wedding has me in a dither. Hello? Tony Blair? I've heard of him, but ohhhh! this royal wedding. Lovely I say.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. H. Bart Vincelette

    As already mentioned, all members of the royal family work. The men usually have military careers & are not pampered. To address the most common misconception about the Royal Family & the cost.: the Royal family is not paid for out of tax dollars. The money comes from the Crown Estate, a portfolio of properties set aside specifically for the purpose. It belongs to the Crown & is worth about 6 billion pounds(2010). The income to the British treasury is about 25 million pounds annually; more than enough to pay for the entire lot. As a Canadian, I have; prior to government employment; sworn allegiance to Her Majesty; Her heirs & successors'. The queen's accomplishments are endless. From work as Princess E. during WWII, she can take an engine apart & put it back together, & fix any toilet on the planet.
    A quote from Sir Winston Churchill says it all:" The power of the monarchy is not that which it holds for itself, but that which it prevents others from assuming."
    Our hearts go out to the families & loved ones who suffered such unimaginable losses during the recent tornado.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    Winston Churchill also said "Wars are not won with troop evacuations"...I find it fascinating that there are actually people who know every little detail about a foreign family and post this knowledge with confidence in every detail. (something that is still missing when we discuss 9/11 or national defense)

    April 30, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Deborah

      Good lord Phillip, are you the type of person that attends a celebration and instead of partaking in the festivities, you loudly discuss the Nazi Holocaust instead.

      I think most people understand the issues you are ranting about. We also understand that we are living in dark times and are constantly assulted with negative news, which can dishearten the spirit.

      The royal wedding mania is not a sign of a national shallowness, but more the need to rejoice in an uplifing event during dark times. On tomorrow, reality will return rearing it's ugly head, but for today, the world is inspired.

      April 30, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    example: they know exactly how much that royal dress cost...but when it comes to how much National Defense costs they haven't a clue. When it comes to why the CIA moved it's domestic affairs division to Denver...the 'royal' expert didn't even know the CIA had a domestic affairs division. Where is the IRS headquartered? They haven't a clue...but they know all about some frivilous royalty. Very odd and very alarming.(the exact same social phenomena occured with Nazi Germany. The people knew all about Hitler's movie star girlfriend and nothing about his fatherland security prisons. (concentration camps) Today's ignoramus knows all about the glittery royalty, and hasn't a clue concerning our own homeland security prisons/FEMA camps. Like an ostrich with it's head in the sand. Really a sad state of affairs.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Well said.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. jonnic

    I have to congratulate CNN for their coverage of the wedding up to the point where those two irratating British rejects appeared. I watched from 06:00 (BST) untill about 1/2 hour after Piers Moron and Cat Screechy arrived. Her with the inane false laugh, and he added nothing to the procedings. All he did was slag off the guests. On a day of celebration he said nothing possitive, only telling us whom had recieved a new nose due to drugs and who was a raving alcoholic ect. In future when you need a Bitish "expert" try find one the British actuly like then you will get a balanced view.
    John (West Yorkshire, England.)

    April 30, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @Mac...you are assuming that others haven't travelled the world...as if one literally must be there to know the truth. How mundane is that mindset? I've travelled quite a bit over the years and have observed people have more in common than in difference. One thing they most all have in common: they know every little detail concerning mundane things but are clueless about how governments of central banks operate. People are generally more interested in food and entertainment than they are about their child's future. Seen it with my own eyes.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Example: you royal fans know every detail about a foreign wedding...yet have you ever even heard of The Bank for International Settlements? Nope! Even though this one foreign bank directs the affairs of all the world's central banks(including the ones located here in USA), the mind that is filled with "royalty" simply doesn't have room for such nonsense. To the simple mind, royalty trumps all.

    April 30, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Deborah

      It has nothing to do with being simple: The royal wedding is living history and the pageantry dates back centuries. Anyone versed in Great Britian's history would be excited about this modern-day historic event. It really is a glance into the past.

      Being a History Major, I find this event very exciting, after all, it was the monarchy that helped shape the world that we know today.

      April 30, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Does anyone remember back when Tony Blair and George Bush were fabricating reasons to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan as it was being reported by the BBC? I alway's got a kick out of how female brit anchorpersons pronounced former Pres. Bush's name. She, the newscaster, would glance down as she said "Boosh"...like she had emitted some foul odor and was embarrassed by it. he he...always got a kick outta that.

    April 30, 2011 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    The UK and it's "Royal" family should be very ashamed of themselves. The couple should have eloped and donated the money saved to people who need food and/or shelter. It wasn't private money that paid for the wedding.

    April 30, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Deborah

      I think Will and Katherine would have preferred an elopement, but there would have been outrage and protest had this occured. Did you not see the fanatic crowds lining the streets? Or hear that over 1 billion people watched the wedding on tv? It would have been the scandel of the century had they eloped.

      April 30, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. jeff

    Great movie!

    April 30, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
    • kristen1517

      loved the movie. wish my life was so full of love like that but lol people only wanna use me cause im wow.

      May 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. the Royal Fans (nazi edition)

    "I say that Eva Braun looks smashing in her mid-cut dress standing next to mein fuhrer Adolph." Yes! Simply wonderful this royalty! "Hello? What's all that racket over there?" Oh that...I do wish they would stop building those concentration camps when royalty is in town. What nerve!

    April 30, 2011 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
    • jaintn

      Forgot to fill your prescription didn't you? Take your meds honey, you sound seriously disturbed.

      April 30, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Karen King

    Hey folks give the royals a break here. They have every right to have their huge wedding.
    These royal weddings have been going on since before all of us were born. It is a part of culture and history.
    It is the way it is because it has always been. Also I would like to say Americans do appreciate history..please do not bulk us up in some stereotypical BS. Do not complain about it..just wish that couple all the best and let it go.
    I for one enjoyed it and I know there are a lot of others that did as well.
    I watched his parents get married years ago..it was nice to see him get married now.

    April 30, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. theo

    i would tap that behind!
    and then unload the king and queen of mother loads on her face!

    April 30, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. @Ann's ED

    I have an eating disorder. I am in treatment right now. Unless you have a tape measure or a scale in front of you and have personally measured and/or weighed Princess Kate, you do not know how much she weighs, what her measurements are, what her body mass index is, etc. And, how do YOU know that it is a "known fact" that Princess Kate "stresses" to lose weight? Is that b/c through the course of your own recovery you've been buddy + buddy with her as a solid support. Doubtful. You probably read this hateful stuff in the tabloids. I seem to recall another beautiful Princess who was attacked by the tabloids that made Prince's William and Harry 1/2 orphans way to young. Quit pulling stupid comments out of your ass. Leave this beautiful couple alone to celebrate their nuptials privately and keep your nose out of business that isn't yours to be in. It is ppl like you who make such judgmental comments that trigger relapse. Neither you, me or the millions of other "royal watchers" out there know if Princess Kate is anorexic. But, it is, in my opinion comments like these that lead the press and others (who may have been well meaning at first) to hound a person to death. (i.e. Princess Diana).
    Please refrain from making comments about another persons weight, weight gain or weight loss, whether or not the have an eating disorder or any other issue that is clearly none of your business.

    April 30, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Deborah

      Her whole family seems to have that kind of body type (mom, sister (Pippa), brother). Obviously not an eating disorder – good genetics.

      April 30, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. jpinga2011

    I would just like to take the time to say thank you for all of the comments about the tornado. I live in North Ga and I have personally seen the devastation that 3 tornadoes caused within just a few miles of my house. You drive through the war zone and see people digging through the rubble. You see heartbreak first hand. You try to figure out who made it through and how to help. It is frustrating that people care more about a wedding than they do their fellow americans. If it was your neighborhood you would want the focus on it. It is sad that so many people poor money into souveniers and petty things for a wedding that is truly no different then any other instead of sending it to people who actually could use it to rebuild their lives.

    April 30, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
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