Bust is the magazine "for women with something to get off their chests." In the introduction to the October issue, which is dedicated to darkness, editor-in-chief Debbie Stoller introduces readers to the spectrum of dark femininity.
Among the "Real Life" segments, Emily Gould contributes "Dolly Darko" with a look at Goth dolls, which reside in some dimension between creepy and cute.
In "Dark Days at Fun Time USA," Ayun Halliday describes traveling by bus to one of those indoor playgrounds with the climbing apparatus, tunnels and the pools full of plastic balls. Ayun does a great job of capturing the paranoia that can accompany such places for the parent trying to keep track of their unleashed little ones.
"Art of Darkness" is J.T. Leroy's interview with Juliette Lewis, who impressed herself on filmgoers as a "natural born killer." Apart from discussing her recovery from drugs, Lewis actually sounds quite sweet and light, giddy about starting her own rock band.
Erin Shea's "A Stolen Life" is a nicely written memoir about her prepubescent obsession with swiping colored pencils during shopping trips with her mother. Only later would Shea learn that her mother was doing something similar on a grander scale: embezzling from the newspaper where she worked. Tragically punctuating the "Stolen Life" motif, we learn that a year after her mother had been put on probation, she died in a car accident
"Public Offender" is Tracie Egan's interview with Sarah Silverman, who rocked the boat by saying "chink" in a joke on Late Night With Conan O' Brien. Silverman asserts that there is a context in which a racial slur can not only be funny, "... but I also believe it can be productive, you know, socially." Among other things, she touches on an article she once wrote for Penthouse commending "pets" for having the courage to endure so much pain, since they "wax their assholes."
Lisa Ladouceur's "Women Who Run With the Werewolves" is about a trend toward female lycanthropes in literature and film, while Carly Jacobs' "Smells Like Teen Spirits" examines the lives of several teenage witches, all of whom seem to have found grounding in their tumultuous lives through the practice of Wicca.
Liz Langley's "Twisted Sisters" documents the curious tale of Lily Dale, who set into motion an American spiritualist craze in the mid-19th century, while Emily Rems supplies the fascinating "Dark Goddesses, Then and Now," comparing dark female deities with such modern celebrities as Courtney Love.
Self-defense trainer, Melissa Soalt offers "Beauty and the Beast Within," a protracted meditation on hitting male assailants back. "It spirals you into the basement of your being," Soalt writes, "feeding your animal self—the beautiful junkyard bitch within."
This only scratches the surface of the provocative material Bust fits into the 116 pages of this issue, which so effectively drives home the point that women, too, have a dark side.