CBLDF is proud to present the new Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab fragrance Cohen v. California! Based upon the landmark First Amendment case that
explicitly acknowledged profanity as protected speech, Cohen v.
California celebrates the notion that ??one man??s vulgarity is another??s
lyric.? This special premiere is accompanied by an all-new signed and
numbered print by Beanworld creator Larry Marder!
This premiere edition of Cohen v. California is strictly limited to
About COHEN V. CALIFORNIA
In April of 1968, Paul Robert Cohen was arrested for wearing a jacket
emblazoned with ??Fuck the Draft? inside a Los Angeles County
Courthouse. He was convicted of violating California Penal Code 415,
prohibiting ??maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet
of any neighborhood or person [by] offensive conduct,? and was sentenced
to thirty days imprisonment.
In affirming the conviction, California??s Court of Appeal held that
offensive conduct translates to ??behavior which has a tendency to
provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace,? and
that ??it was certainly reasonably foreseeable that such conduct might
cause others to rise up to commit a violent act against the person of
the defendant or attempt to forcibly remove his jacket.?
However, the US Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari, and the
case went off to the highest court in the land. The
Court held, by a vote of 5-4, that ??Absent a more particularized and
compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with
the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of
this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense.? The Court
denied the State the broad power to control its citizens in the name of
creating a clean, civil society through the censorship of public
discourse: ??[T]he issue flushed by this case stands out in bold relief.
It is whether California can excise, as ??offensive conduct,?? one
particular scurrilous epithet from the public discourse, either upon the
theory . . . that its use is inherently likely to cause violent
reaction or upon a more general assertion that the States, acting as
guardians of public morality, may properly remove this offensive word
from the public vocabulary.?
One man??s vulgarity is another??s lyric: black tea,
apricot, honey, saffron, apple blossom, tolu balsam, ginger grass, white
ginger root, and vetiver.