The Age of Inhumanity

Historians will eventually affix a label to the time period we are living through (assuming, of course, that we do live through it); my predictive powers are considerably less than optimal, but I vote for “The Age of Inhumanity”–or maybe, “The Age of Assholery.”

My exhibits, from just the past couple of days:

Jimmy Kimmel recently delivered an emotional monologue about his newborn son, who’d been born with a heart condition. Ultimately, the story had a happy ending; surgery corrected the defect and they were able to take the baby home. Kimmel’s monologue included a “political” observation:

Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.

If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

Well, no. Evidently not.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.)–now a radio call-in show host– tweeted his reaction, writing: “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.”

I will note here that we shouldn’t be surprised by Walsh’s disinclination to pay insurance premiums that might benefit other people’s children, since he’d previously been sued by his ex-wife for failing to pay child support for his own. A real prince of a guy….

And then there was the funeral home in Mississippi that refused to honor its contractual obligation to provide services when they discovered that the deceased man had a husband.

For most of the 52 years he was in a relationship with Robert Huskey, Jack Zawadski doesn’t remember much in the way of anti-gay discrimination.

Not while they were trying to grow apples on a farm in Wisconsin. Not during the decades they spent as special education teachers. Not even when they moved to Mississippi 20 years ago to retire someplace warmer and more lush, or after they married in 2015, when the Supreme Court declared that gay couples have as much of a right as heterosexuals to marry.

Last month, at age 86, Huskey died after a long illness.

Zawadski, 82, said the funeral home that had been prearranged to pick up and cremate Huskey’s body refused at the last minute, telling the nursing home that they don’t “deal with their kind.”…

The couple’s nephew, John Gaspari, made the arrangements ahead of time with Picayune Funeral Home, the only funeral home in the county with an on-site crematory, according to the complaint. Zawadski had hoped to hold the funeral there so the couple’s local friends could pay their respects. On May 11, 2016, Gaspari contacted the funeral home to let them know Huskey had died.

But after filing the paperwork, including a document naming Zawadski as next of kin, Gaspari got a call from the nursing home. “The Nursing Home relayed to John that once it received the paperwork indicating that Bob’s spouse was male, PFH refused service because it did not ‘deal with their kind,’ ” the lawsuit stated.

Zawadski’s complaint says that the turmoil involved in finding alternative arrangements “permanently marred the memory of Bob’s otherwise peaceful passing,”

I wish I could say that these are isolated examples, but anyone who follows the news knows that they’re not.

What the hell is wrong with these people? What makes them so small and mean-spirited?

Whatever historians ultimately call it, we  live in an ugly time.