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. Saint

    Really, people?
    Tornadoes = bad
    Wedding = good
    They are not mutually exclusive. Both happened, both are important, and both affected people differently.
    The victims, loved ones, and onlookers of the tornadoes have a right to mourn the events and loss of life, and...
    The now married love birds have every reason to be happy, they got married! I can reassure every married person in here that over 300 people died on their wedding day. On average about 150,000 people die every day.

    April 30, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. KPN

    I'm sorry for all of the catastrophes around the world, but I think the wedding might have taken people's minds of all of the bad stuff going on in the world. Back in 1996, my husband died in a tornado in Florida and I learned that life does go on for other people no matter how much I felt it should stop. And, as everybody likes to point out to those of us who are offended by the trash that is on TV, you didn't have to watch. If you felt you were bombarded by the wedding on the TV and Internet, then you could have gotten off the Internet and turned off the TV. You could have read a book, taken a walk, etc. I wish much happiness for William and Kate and I pray they have a long happy life together. God's peace on them.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Abbyka

    ONe of the comments mentioned a "fairy tale". What fairy tale? This is just two rich people getting married. It'd be another thing if Kate came from a poor background but daddy is a millionaire! I don't find that to be "common" at all. I don't care for celeb weddings in the news period, this goes for the royals and it would go for if the President decided to dump his wife and marry another woman in the middle of his term. I don't know these people beyond the TV or newspaper, they could probably care less about me even if they knew I existed. So why should I give a rat's patootie about them getting married? Because of their fame? Because of their "social standing"? Because they have money? I'm sorry but unless I actually know them as friends I really don't care what the heck they do with their lives. It doesn't affect me.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. M

    "Rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that mourn." All other comments on this page should be classified as abuse and closed by the community.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lindsey

    This wedding was beautiful! It was a fairy tale that we were allowed to share. While I am so sorry for the victims of the tornadoes in the south, I celebrate that life goes on in William and Kate. I think because of the tragedy that occurred to Williams' mother, we all feel a little protective of him and Harry and we rejoice when good things happen for them. I wish William and Kate all the happiness in the world.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 2011Judgment

    The way some in the Media acted, one would think that these Reporters would enjoy being around one of the so called "Royal" Britts even if one of them passed gas, probably proclaiming how wonderful the smell was. saying it was "magical"

    April 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    Kate and Wills had a great wedding as seen on the tele by the world, everything went exactly as planned to the second BUT at what cost?
    The UK is now a police state! It was obvious the crowd along the Mall were a bit 'thin' to anyone who had seen a previous state event.
    The exclusion zone, where everyone who entered had to be pat'd down and a hand metal detector and all bags etc hand searched.
    Deng Xiaoping, Stalin, Kruschev, Castro, etc... Now add to this List DAVID CAMERON!
    We in the UK who pontificate to the world freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to protest, freedom of assembly performed a Total police/military exclusion around Parliament Square, Pall Mall, and Buck's house. It is gut wrenching to hear him condemn the dictators in the Middle East suppressing the people trying to express freedom of speech etc when he personally ordered a total lock down. As Liz2 put it on arriving back at Bucks house: "It's Amazing" – not the event but that all forms of protest were suppressed by the state. The Police are no longer the protector of the people they are nothing more than a political extension of protecting the political regime that was Not elected and has no mandate.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Oh, come on and get real. People do stupid things like driving a car through barriers to make an attempt on royal lives (which happened in The Netherlands in 2009). For as far as I know, very few people have complained about the securitymeasures. And unlike the people in the middle-east, we are perfectly allowed to state our opinions and to protest if necessary. So, please, leave the police-state-thing. It's complete nonsense.

      April 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Suzi

    for gdcox...... the south doesnt have cellars because the land is below sea level. So before you insult Americans about being unprepared, please do your homework.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dDSTgijq2l4kqm.,weavz

    o my frickin god,


    both=lots of comments

    April 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Enoch

    People really view this as something nice to take their mind off tragedy? The groom's money comes from his family's holding of ancestral lands stolen from the country nearly 1,000 years ago. 1,000 years of the same crime being committed! That is a tragedy.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. M

    All the news reports most days are of the sad events like the one in Alabama. While tragic, I don't believe that we all have to be constant Debbie Downers. While the deaths due to the tornado are extremely sad, life still goes on. People still get married, have kids, go on vacations, go to work and do all the everyday things that people do. Yes, a lot of people died, but to be honest, people die everyday due to various reasons. Thousands die from disease, random accidents, starvation and so forth around the world, so unless you want you life to be just one dark cloud what is the harm in seeing why we enjoy life anyway. The wedding was reminder of how wonder love and life can be. There would never be a good time for anyone to have a wedding or any other joyous occasion if we had to stop for every tragic event that happens both home and around the world. I wish William and Catherine the best and was glad I got to watch. Besides, if this was the Superbowl, I think we all know that that would still have been front pages news over the tornado.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kim

    What is so wrong with stopping and enjoying a beautiful and historical moment in time away from all of the ugliness that is surrounding us continuously. My heart breaks for the people in the south going through the loss of homes, livelihoods and loved ones. But there is also a time when you want to step back and enjoy the lovely things in life and think on them.

    I for one loved watching the wedding. Just about every woman loves a wedding, at one point all our dreams when we were young was of marrying our own handsome princes. We all dream of weddings like this one. Why not take a moment to rejoice with a woman who is living the fairy tale we all once dreamed about.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nijode

    From my experience all basements flood. We, and everyone I know here in Illinois, have a pump which is placed slightly below the basement which keeps the basement dry. In addition we have a back-up pump which also works if the power is lost. I can't imagine living in area called "Tornado Alley" without having a basement. I can't imagine the terror those poor people experienced who did not. God bless them all.

    April 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • why

      These tornadoes were in the South not the Midwest. Tornado alley is in the MIDWEST. These super cell storms spawned tornadoes in the mountains and their foothills, where tornadoes are not usually formed. Many people in areas around the mountains don't have basements, the soil is often too rocky and unstable to have them dug, they would just collapse in. Plus more often than not, there's solid rock below the surface that would be too costly for the average homeowner to have carved out. Yes some of the places that were hit were flatland areas but they don't see hundreds of tornadoes a year either. They see less than five, if even that many, a year. As far as those who live in floodplain areas, a basement can be a bad idea for a variety of reasons even if they have pumps. Every flood weakens the mortar and block, it eventually starts to crack the block. The soaked earth puts pressure on the walls from the outside causing it to bow inward, which can lead to wall failure, earth gives way with it, potentially collapsing the home or part of it. Constant flooding can also lead to mold being formed in the floors of the home from all the dampness which ends up making the family sick. Many people rent their homes so they don't have the option of building a basement/storm cellar. So you see there are many reasons why someone might not have an underground shelter. Please DO NOT call people crazy, criticize them for things YOU THINK they should have or could have done or anything else for that matter, when YOU DON'T KNOW what their situation might be!

      May 1, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. lc

    I don't think anyone would say that a "royal wedding" is more important than the devastation and loss of life in the South. The wedding is a happy event in a world where happiness is rarely reported. Beautiful things are still going to happen even during times of sadness and despair. Life goes on and we need to appreciate and revel in the joys around us, as well as show respect and empathy for our fellow man during times of trouble. We should all pray for (or keep in your thoughts) those in Alabama who are suffering or who have lost their lives this past week. But I for one was up watching the wedding yesterday simply because it was nice to see something happy on television for once.

    April 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      You took the words out of my mouth. I don't know why so many people write such nasty comments about the wedding. I for one think it was perfect. I've been to London, and seen it extensively – it is a beautiful city. So for those of you who are to ignorant to leave your surroundings, just shut up and watch your Redneck Weddings and what ever stupid Reality Show the US shows on TV.

      April 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Actually, in the fullness of time, the wedding will be a huge historical event. The tornadoes were an immeasurable tragedy, but not a bigger news source on the world stage than the Royal Wedding. It will be in the history books a century from now.

      However, my heart goes out to all those folks who lost loved ones, or all of their belongings.

      April 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • nm

      lc, melanie, jo- its so nice to see some people agreeing with me. i grew up watching this family and it means a lot to see the wedding. the news is always so negative and it seems america thrives on it. the one good and positive thing is torn to shreds by ignorant americans who cant get their heads out of their butts long enough to see it. all i hear is "who cares, the royals don't do anything anyway" or "i can't believe they made the taxpayers pay for it" and here's my favorite, "I think the royalty in England started to lose face when Henry VIII started divorcing and axing wives... that just doesn't sit well with people. How did those people watching the wedding not think, 'Well, if he finds someone else to marry, she'll be sent to the Tower or killed.' "
      i blame most of the negative reviews on it being over publicized in america (i.e. merchandise, reality shows, coverage months before, etc.). its no wonder most of the world hates us americans. hopefully someday i can move away...

      April 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Heather

    Alabama is known to have occasional tornadoes but cannot have storm cellars underground because they are too close to sea level. You cant fault them for not being prepared, unlike hurricanes, which you know are coming weeks in advance, tornadoes can occur out of the blue from what looks like a regular thunderstorm. scary stuff

    April 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
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