A Ben Cohen Ink Comic


By Ben Cohen a “legendary master of the left field.” -BRP!

“Unintentionally misunderstood since 1975.” –Anonymous

“A big f@#k you, to the audience.” -B. Pendarvis

Ben Cohen's Facebook Found Objects Third Party News

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fear of Death

When it comes to death we are focused on ourselves, our kin and/or our family.  Then our communities ect… The fact is I am going to die.  Likely from Heart Disease or Cancer; nutrition and exercise grip me currently.  I have had brushes with death…Asthma Hospitalization as a kid, a Mugging in College.  I have had close ones in cars, I swear planes, I go into Surgery in less the two weeks, I live in temperatures bellow zero, I walk on the street a lot.  I am a paradoxical secular Half-Jew who believes in ghost, because I spent so much time in Savannah, GA.  I am not comforted by the afterlife and as I exit my young adult years and approach middle age…time is pressing against me.

Being a cartoonist my fears are griped by an active imagination and focused on my daughter’s future and her kin.  I fear a world in her future griped by global warming resulting in an ice age, heat wave, food shortages, nuclear holocaust or just increased homicides…basically Doon, Mad Max, A Boy and His Dog, Water World, ect… and in this fantasy the US is target number one…although I hold out hope that China will mess things up worse.

For many in the world It has become increasingly easy for the rest of the world to point the finger at the US.  This flies in the face of what is really a giving spirit in the US.  But what keeps us from charming our way through this is the American spirit.  We are a bring yourself up by your bootstraps type of people. It is the success of the individual that has brought us our success and our scorn.  So we bristle when others don’t just do it themselves.  I know another paradox.

Now this analysis is cathartic for me.  To face my increasing fears.  It is made of statistics, imperfect, easily manipulated, really just anecdotal at best.  To give you some context, some perspective.  I very conscious that this analysis does two things, puts aside the realities of most of the world and does nothing to ease the minds of those who face death.  I have lost friends, family and have people in my life who have lost people close to them; due to suicide, hart disease, cancer, war, car accidents, drugs and AIDs.  So as I write this they are on my mind.

I would also like to note that the amount we spend on resources and time communicating about these issues seems disproportional.  That said, I do thank those who keep us safer…some of these stats COULD be worse without their sacrifices.

These are causes of death, with annual statistics for the USA (some of them I will comment on; purely opinion):

heart disease 831,272, cancer 559,888

Healthcare Insurance and Advances in Medicine may help these numbers.  But for those who struggle with sedentary life, putting food on the table, living in toxic environments and/or communities these are real numbers.

Smoking 440,000

This is such an easy fix…stop making them.

Nutrition and Sedentary Life 300,000

The planet will increasing struggle with food shortages, while America struggles with both not enough food and eating to much of it.  This is a vary complex problem that requires an understanding between grow local and food engineering approaches.  Global warming may take it out of man hands.

stroke 143,579
Accidents 121,599
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 120,000
Diabetes 68,399
pneumonia 61,777

Lack of Health Insurance 45,000

It is easy to see why there is both moral imperative and lack of political will to solve this issue.

Alzheimer’s disease 44,536
Car Accident 41,611

There are some policy changes that still need to be made in this area.

Influenza 36,000

Is always surprising.

kidney disease 35,525
Septicemia (bacteria in the blood) 30,680
Suicide 30,622

Makes you wonder about our mental health care and societal issues.

Incidents Involving Firearms 29,000

This number only exists here, in the US.

Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 27,000
Homicide 20,308

See Fire Arms.

Heroin Cocaine Methamphetamine 17,000

Now keep in mind these are three drugs…note drug later stats.

Hypertension 16,968
Parkinson’s disease 14,593
Cold Weather 14,380

With global warming this should increase dramatically.

Falling 13,322

That’s right falling.

Accidental Poising 12,757
Aids/HIV 12,113

I spent my childhood petrified about this issue…and that was with knowing the facts.  Proportionately I don’t get why.  Personally I understand though.

Swine Flu 10,000

Notice flu above.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 7,600

If you work with chronic pain patients and you appropriately prescribe Opioids …this is the first stat you look to explain why it is appropriate in a comprehensive treatment approach.

Opioids 5,528

This is the reason, you are careful when prescribing.

Working 5,430

I quite.

Surgical Complications 5,000

Crap I am having surgery…

Walking down the street 4,727

My dad always said you could die just walking down the street…what do you know.

Train related 1,000
Hot Weather 860

This will go up two…

Accidental Gun Shot 776

Well that’s sort of comforting.

Plane Accident (world wide) 1,000

Iraq 4,430 (total US troops lost so far for the war since 2003)

Terrorism 3147 (total)

Now we have been spending $400 Billion on the War on Terror.  And we are fighting people we may never convince by being friends with.  Who are not like the samurai and respect honor.  Are not scared, because they just as soon as blow them selves up to make a point…perhaps we should take an Aikido approach and just step aside and watch our Terrorist enemies fall on their own sword.  The Afghans will never accept us as people who help us…we are the Red Army take 2.

Carbon Monoxide in Products 141
Executions 100

And it cost us more then keeping them alive.

Tornadoes 100
Flooding 100

Afghanistan 882 (total US troops lost so far for the war since Nov. 2001)

Lightning 50
Earthquakes 1-60

There was one today.

Avalanches 30
Hurricanes 20

Total 2,426,264 out of 304,059,724 U.S. Citizens

Well, I feel a little better.  But it won’t change the prognosis.

Enjoy the time you have people.


  1. Two questions. Where are sharks? And where are zombies? :)

  2. I had more to say, so reread...but I didn't include Sharks...I should have because of the Shark attacks where I grew up. Deaths are in the teens. Zombies, Vampires and Marijuana is zero. We are resilient.