Know what’s scary? Senselessness

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist

Here are some stories that are either funny because they’re scary, or they would be funny if they weren’t scary. I’m not really sure.

• I saw the greatest, and worst, headline in the history of the New York Knicks about two weeks ago after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“New York Knicks say haunted hotel was a problem before loss to Thunder.”

Really. Yes, really. It’s still on the New York Daily News Web site.

OK, the paper did report the Skirven Hotel has had reports of sightings and strange noises, and there’s a legend that somebody at the hotel jumped to their death in the 1930s.

And then there’s the time I stayed at a hotel and couldn’t get sleep because of the noises. But it wasn’t a haunted hotel — I just did crappy research, and I booked a hotel room next to a railroad station.

Center Eddy Curry says he got two hours of sleep before the loss because he couldn’t stop thinking about ghosts in the hotel, and he went to stay in a teammate’s room so he wouldn’t be alone on the 10th floor.

Forward Jared Jeffries said, “The place is haunted. It’s scary.”

Here’s what’s scarier: The Knicks are paying Curry and Jeffries $17.1 million this season. And they’re going to spend the summer telling LeBron James they can build a championship nucleus around him.

• I came across an amusing and troubling story yesterday about the Texas State Board of Education’s error in throwing out a book over author confusion.

The author of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” was Bill Martin Jr., who died in 2004. His book got taken off the state’s curriculum list because a board member thought he was Bill Martin, a DePaul University professor who wrote “Biblical Marxism,” a book with criticisms of American capitalism.

The name mistake, if not condoned, can be understood. I’ve been mistaken for a few different Kevin Wilsons in my life.

My problem is this: there’s no indication that anybody on the education board read, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” (And it wouldn’t have taken long — there’s a YouTube video of Martin reading the entire book in 1:44.) But they voted to take it off the curriculum list, because of what was said in another book that they never read.

Perhaps if they had, they would have seen that the “Brown Bear” series was a kid’s book with talking animals, and no criticisms on the American system. And maybe later, they’d realize banning a book because it contains criticisms of the America system runs counter to the American system.

But maybe I’m a children’s author too, because that last paragraph’s a total fairy tale.