Activism

activism

In the course of an interview with Unquiet Things, I was able to put my thoughts and feelings about the importance of our activism into words:

Since the day we first opened our doors, helping support and strengthen marginalized communities has been of paramount importance to me. At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, we have never shied away from our civic duty, and since the inception of the company, we have made it a point to do everything within our power to support organizations that provide emergency aid and disaster relief, support environmental and conservation causes, help the homeless, protect civil liberties and reproductive rights, and offer succor to the LGBTQ community and marginalized ethnic, racial, and minority religious groups. It is our way of helping to protect and provide for our communities, and we feel it is our obligation as human beings to help those who may not be empowered to help themselves.

  • Alternative Facts

    The truth hurts — so why tell it? Muffle the blow with Alternative Facts.

    For example:

    FACT: Following White House advisor Kellyanne Conway’s January 22 appearance on “Meet The Press,” sales of George Orwell’s 1984 skyrocketed, making it the fifth-best selling book on Amazon.com.

    ALTERNATIVE FACT: In under a week, President Trump’s administration has already managed to improve literacy, reflecting the public’s renewed interest in privatized education, as well as its rejection of the mainstream media in favor of more “traditional” forms of information-gathering.

    See how easy that is? With the help of Alternative Facts, even the most unpalatable among us can preside over a gallery of glittering, candy-coated delusions — one in which reality itself conforms to our beliefs, sincerely-held or otherwise.

    ALTERNATIVE FACTS: If you truly want to obfuscate what you really smell like, this is the scent for you! Sugar-crusted vanilla, a firecracker-blast of cherry and sour lemon, a hint of scuttling spiders, encroaching fog, and trumpets of bombast, bluff, and bluster.

    Like its companion scent Fake News, proceeds from Alternative Facts will benefit the ACLU.

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  • Fake News

    2016 turned out to be the year of the NASTY WOMAN — and thanks to your purchases, BPAL was able to donate thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List!

    Unfortunately, 2017 is already shaping up to be the year of FAKE NEWS. In anticipation of the upcoming inaugural proceedings — and the months, nay years of high-volume dishonesty that are to follow — we offer the following blend to help penetrate the dense fog of of misinformation that’s already begun settling around Truth, Justice, and other historically celebrated American ideals.

    Wear it in vigilance as you sift through the memes, trolls, clickbait, hate-speech, and outright propaganda that continually threaten to overwhelm all the world’s kindness, wisdom, and informed expertise. Wear it in courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity at every turn — even from our nation’s highest-ranking figures — with indisputable facts from well-researched sources.

    And try not to lose your sense of humor as you fight back, or your own essential humanity. As Anne Lamott once wrote: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.” 

    FAKE NEWS: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold.

    Proceeds from FAKE NEWS will go to the American Civil Liberties Union, non-partisan defender of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

    When purchasing, be sure to include your twitter handle in the Notes section of our order form — for every bottle you buy, we will tweet one fake news headline about you from our Twitter account (@BPAL).

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  • Irish Coffee Buttercream

    Today, the Trump administration announced that they will be reinstating the US military ban on transgender people. This policy not only affects the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of transgender military personnel, but also paves the way for further acts of bigotry and hate in our government and communities.

    We are hosting an emergency fundraiser for our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality and for the American Civil Liberties Union. The two scents that are going live are being pulled from a future coffee-themed update that was slated for 2018. I specifically chose these scents because they are cheery and uplifting – without the usual highly-specific socio-political context that we attached to many of our fundraiser scents – in the hopes that it will sell well and sell quickly so that we can be as effective as possible in helping out. Help us take an immediate stand to fight this unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel ban.

    Even if you choose not to make a purchase, please consider donating to or volunteering with the NCTE and / or ACLU. Stand with the transgender community, and be a compassionate and hard-working ally to all marginalized groups whose civil rights, livelihood, happiness, health and well-being are being trampled by this administration.

     

    Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee.

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  • LORDY

    For the folksy FBI agent in your life. Reminiscent of a classic 1950’s men’s cologne with a shuffle of paper, a briefcase-snap of black leather, and yesterday’s cold coffee.

    Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

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  • Nasty Woman

    As you have no doubt heard, during the third presidential debate, Hillary described her plan to raise taxes on the rich in order to fund Social Security. She took a swing at him over him being a tax dodger (which he is).

    “My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s – if he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”

    Trump interrupted her and said, “Such a nasty woman.”

    These are two things uttered by the same man within the same hour:

    “Such a nasty woman.”

    “No one has more respect for women than me.”

    Amazing.

    Let’s put this pussy-grabbing, racist, predatory, misogynistic, hateful, irresponsible, ignorant, immature grotesquerie out of politics for good, and do what we can to ensure that he and his ilk never cast their miserable shadows over our political process again.

    Nasty Woman: black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum.

    Proceeds will be split between Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s list.

    plannedparenthood.org

    emilyslist.org

    Photo: Women marching in national suffrage demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 9, 1914.

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  • Nevertheless, She Persisted

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

    A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILY’s List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

    Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

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  • Single Note: Bluebonnet

    Proceeds from the sale of SN: Bluebonnet will benefit Global Giving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

    See also, Global Giving on Charity Navigator.

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  • Single Note: Flor de Maga

    The national flower of Puerto Rico. The proceeds of this scent support the Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Maria relief fund. They have a stellar four-star rating on Charity Navigator, and one-hundred percent of the money that they receive go towards relief and recovery for people imperiled by Hurricane Maria.

    If you would like to donate on your own, please visit the Hispanic Federation’s website, go to the pull-down menu, and select “hurricane relief effort” (or click here).

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  • Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee

    Today, the Trump administration announced that they will be reinstating the US military ban on transgender people. This policy not only affects the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of transgender military personnel, but also paves the way for further acts of bigotry and hate in our government and communities.

    We are hosting an emergency fundraiser for our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality and for the American Civil Liberties Union. The two scents that are going live are being pulled from a future coffee-themed update that was slated for 2018. I specifically chose these scents because they are cheery and uplifting – without the usual highly-specific socio-political context that we attached to many of our fundraiser scents – in the hopes that it will sell well and sell quickly so that we can be as effective as possible in helping out. Help us take an immediate stand to fight this unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel ban.

    Even if you choose not to make a purchase, please consider donating to or volunteering with the NCTE and / or ACLU. Stand with the transgender community, and be a compassionate and hard-working ally to all marginalized groups whose civil rights, livelihood, happiness, health and well-being are being trampled by this administration.

    Coffee and rum laced with allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon gently whipped into buttercream.

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  • Take a Knee

    This weekend, Trump attacked the US Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech and took aim at the football players who are peacefully protesting police brutality, inequality, bigotry, and racism. He’s calling for a boycott of an entire sports league to force the firing of African American athletes and their allies for speaking out about racial injustice.

    Taking a knee…this isn’t a protest of America itself, its flag, or anything that this country stands for. It isn’t disrespectful of the US military. On the contrary, it is the acknowledgement that we as a country can do better, that we must do better, and that we must renew our commitment to fight for equality and justice for all. By speaking out against institutional racism and racial injustice, against violence and bigotry, whether it be by taking a knee, locking arms with teammates, refusing to walk out onto a playing field until after the National Anthem has been sung, editorializing on social media, or making protest perfumes, we are honoring our communities, our neighbors, and our nation by attempting to amplify the voices of those who are often not empowered to speak.

    It is possible and necessary to love this country and also expect—and demand—that we do better…that we recognize injustice when we see it, and do what we can to fight it. That’s real patriotism.

    “We have fought for America with all of her imperfections. Not so much for what she is but for what we know she can be.” – Mary Bethune

    This is the scent of apple pie, as American as it gets, and a smudged grass stain. The proceeds from every single sale of this scent will benefit the NAACP.

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  • Theoi Nomioi

    In response to the National Park Service retweeting a New York Times piece on Trump’s Inauguration numbers, Trump’s fragile ego demanded that his administration order the NPS to stop all tweets.

    The National Park Service refuses to be muzzled. On January 24th, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park social media team defiantly posted a series of climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation before being shut down. Since then, anonymous employees from the National Park Service started a rogue twitter account:

    https://twitter.com/AltNatParkSer

    These courageous federal employees are risking their careers to ensure that the public is kept informed on issues of climate change. They are fighting for transparency, truth, and science, and they deserve every ounce of support we can offer them. Tweet, email, FB, and phone in your support. Visit your local National Parks and thank the employees there in person. Donate to the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

    For them, for us, for the sake of the First Amendment, the environment, our state parks, and our future, we honor the bravery and chutzpah of these NPS employees with a scent that benefits the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

    THEOI NOMIOI
    The Theoi Nomioi are the gods and spirits of the wild: the countryside, the pastures, the forests. Under their auspices, untamed nature thrives, the beasts of the wild feast and multiply, the mountains reach to the heavens with their stony, snow-capped fingers, and the forests grow thick and dark with mystery.

    The National Parks Conservation Association
    “Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard the scenic beauty, wildlife, and historic and cultural treasures of the largest and most diverse park system in the world. Help us assure the future of our beloved national parks.”

    The National Park Foundation
    “The National Park Foundation protects America’s special places, connects people to nature and inspires the next generation of park stewards.”

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Activism - Hymn to the Erinyes

++ HYMN TO THE ERINYES

Vociferous Bacchanalian Furies, hear! Ye, I invoke, dread pow’rs, whom all revere;
Nightly, profound, in secret who retire, Tisiphone, Alecto, and Megara dire:
Deep in a cavern merg’d, involv’d in night, near where Styx flows impervious to the sight;
Ever attendant on mysterious rites, furious and fierce, whom Fate’s dread law delights;
Revenge and sorrows dire to you belong, hid in a savage veil, severe and strong,
Terrific virgins, who forever dwell endu’d with various forms, in deepest hell;
Aerial, and unseen by human kind, and swiftly coursing, rapid as the mind.
In vain the Sun with wing’d refulgence bright, in vain the Moon, far darting milder light,
Wisdom and Virtue may attempt in vain; and pleasing, Art, our transport to obtain
Unless with these you readily conspire, and far avert your all-destructive ire.
The boundless tribes of mortals you descry, and justly rule with Dike’s impartial eye.
Come, snaky-hair’d, Moirai many-form’d, divine, suppress your rage, and to our rites incline.

This is the end of silence, the end of shame, and the end of bearing the burden of other people’s crimes.

I see you, I hear you, and I believe you. You are not alone.

Proceeds from the sale of both of the Hymn to the Erinyes scents benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and provides programs to help survivors, prevent sexual violence, and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

If you just want to buy the scent in support of RAINN, it can be done below. In another section, our narrator speaks up about her own experiences with assault. If you want to read it, click here, and be aware that this page contains content about rape and sexual assault.

  • A Savage Veil, Severe and Strong

    Black plum, 7-year aged patchouli, nutmeg, and tobacco leaf.

    Proceeds from the sale of both of the Hymn to the Erinyes scents benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and provides programs to help survivors, prevent sexual violence, and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

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  • Snaky-Hair’d Moirai Many-Form’d

    Tobacco-threaded incense smoke, labdanum, red benzoin, and blackened vanilla.

    Proceeds from the sale of both of the Hymn to the Erinyes scents benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and provides programs to help survivors, prevent sexual violence, and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

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Activism - I know words, I have the best words.

Where the best words go.

“….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..”

“….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

All your worries about the president’s political acuity, state of mind, and fitness for office should be put to rest. What else is there to say? All the assurance you need is right there in a dazzling stream of prolific 280-character bursts of brilliance.

  • BEING, LIKE, REALLY SMART

    Soothe your cares with a blend of dull, dolorous, soporific lavender, weighed down with opoponax and thick labdanum, spiked by an unpredictable, unsettling slash of black pepper.

    Proceeds from the sale of this scent benefits the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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  • COVFEFE

    Is it abstract nonsense poetry? Surrealist performance art? Cryptography so subtle and devious that it would make an Enigma machine blush? The verbal component of whatever spell that orb casts? Safe word? A typo fueled by cheap hooch, NoDoz, and poor impulse control? Is negative press covfefe anything like French press covfefe?

     

    This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.

     

    Proceeds from this late-night nonsense benefit the ACLU, which has been working overtime to defend the rights and liberties guaranteed to everyone in this country by the laws and Constitution of the United States.

     

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  • VERY STABLE GENIUS

    A scent straight out of a deep-fryer: scorched, lard-addled potatoes, beef gristle, and a bit of bacon.

    Proceeds from the sale of this scent benefits the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Activism - The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia

We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as Antonin Scalia.

He is the federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.

For your pleasure, we present a line dedicated to SCOTUS’ reigning Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia. Proceeds from every single bottle will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

  • Ask the Nearest Hippie

    Obergefell vs Hodges

    Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.

    An olfactory guide, created to assist you in locating nearby hippies: patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord.

    (No, there is no actual weed in this perfume, silly.)

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  • Jiggery Pokery

    King vs Burwell

    The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. Ante, at 13–14.

    I dunno. “Jiggery Pokery” just felt like it needed a whimsical scent attached to it, so here’s some pink pepper cotton candy with a sliver of orange peel and a hint of vanilla cream.

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  • Looming Spectre of Inutterable Horror

    Arizona vs United States

    We are not talking here about a federal law prohibiting the States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants. We are talking about a federal law going to the core of state sovereignty: the power to exclude.

    The Court opinion’s looming specter of inutterable horror—“[i]f §3 of the Arizona statute were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute federal registration violations”—seems to me not so horrible and even less looming.

    If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.

    Wherein Scalia channels Lovecraft: raw frankincense and tobacco absolute with Russian leather, blackened champaca, bitter clove, red patchouli, bourbon vanilla and petitgrain.

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  • Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages

    Obergefell vs Hodges

    Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its ‘reasoned judgment,’ thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.

    Rosemary is for remembrance: rosemary water with lavender, blackberry, Italian bergamot, and white musk.

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  • Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie

    Obergefell vs Hodges

    If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

    Almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense.

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  • Pure Applesauce

    King vs Burwell

    The Court claims that the Act must equate federal and state establishment of Exchanges when it defines a qualified individual as someone who (among other things) lives in the “State that established the Exchange,” 42 U. S. C. §18032(f )(1)(A). Otherwise, the Court says, there would be no qualified individuals on federal Exchanges, contradicting (for example) the provision requiring every Exchange to takethe “ ‘interests of qualified individuals’ ” into accountwhen selecting health plans. Ante, at 11 (quoting §18031(e)(1)(b)). Pure applesauce.

    Our applesauce is decidedly impure: mashed apples with sugar and honey, slivered with tobacco tar and black tea.

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