Bubble Bitching : Elon’s satirical underground newspaper

Shannon Tennant
November 29, 2013

The Pendulum is Elon’s official student newspaper, but there have been several unofficial, “underground” publications offering different viewpoints of campus events.  One of the most amusing was the satirical paper Bubble Bitching.  In the style of the Onion, Bubble Bitching was created by a senior Business major and a senior Communications major in the spring of 2003.  “We’ve been making these jokes to each other for three years,” said one editor in a Pendulum interview. “Now we’re putting them down on paper.”

Bubble Bitching was produced biweekly for a year, printed double-sided on a piece of regular paper (this was in the days of unlBubbleBitchingPic2imited campus printing, before print dollars!) and slipped into the Pendulum’s newspaper racks.  The front page of Bubble Bitching contained two stories and a sidebar of funny headlines.  There was a joke under the masthead, and the reported price of each issue varied.  There were several digitally manipulated pictures with irreverent captions.  On the back, the editors provided a list of real music concerts coming to the area.  Their slogan was, “Quit your damn bitching. That’s our job.”  The editors remained officially anonymous during their tenure.

Bubble Bitching was very popular on campus.  Students, faculty, and even administrators eagerly awaited each issue.  In fact, the editors confirmed to the Pendulum that several administrators had expressed their appreciation.  (These administrators were left anonymous, no doubt to protect their reputations.)  The magazine was not without controversy, however.  A Pendulum editorial in April 2003 made slighting references to Bubble Bitching and a website called “You go to Elon if.”  The Bubble Bitching staff replied with an editorial of their own, defending the place of underground publications.

Bubble Bitching was celebrated in a 2011 exhibit by the Sorry, an arts curatorial club.  “(Almost) 10 Years after Bubble Bitching” was held in the Arts & Letters learning community in Trollinger House for one night only.  It featured enlargements of the issues hung on the walls.  Because no contemporary students remembered the paper, it was a chance to educate people about a creative part of Elon’s media history.

The original Bubble Bitching was followed by several imitators.  The longest lived revival appeared briefly in the spring of 2012, perhaps inspired by the Sorry’s exhibit the previous semester.  This new Bubble Bitching was close in format to the original: one double-sided page, two or three short satirical stories, and a sidebar of humorous headlines.  The masthead read, “BB is the stuff of legends…Anyway, BB was billed as the official unofficial paper of Elon when it launched in 2003.  Now it’s taking back the title.”  The 2012 Bubble Bitching staff used a blog to organize the issues, which can be found at the site http://bubblebitching.blogspot.com/. Unfortunately, publication seems to have ceased after only five issues.

In the words of the original editor, “We’re proud of Elon. We pay to go to a private school just like everyone else. But it’s amusing where some of the values are placed here. It’s important to laugh at ourselves.”

Who will take up the challenge next?

Some highlights from the original Bubble Bitching, which can be found in its entirety in the Belk Library Archives:

  • “Fabulously Wealthy Alumni Engage in Bidding War for Naming Rights to New Crosswalk Median”
  • “Elon Establishes Followership Fellows Program”
  • “Elon Study Abroad Programs Target Disney World”
  • “Elon Ratio makes Bad Pickup Lines More Effective”
  • “Elon Starts Club Beer Pong Team”

Holiday Recipes from Edith Brannock

Shaunta Alvarez
November 22, 2013

As was stated in a previous post, Edith Brannock ’39 recently donated a collection of recipes to the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections. These recipes were taught to students taking home economics classes during the 1960s to 1980s, when Ms. Brannock was a member of the Elon College faculty. Ms. Brannock did not include a Thanksgiving menu in her recipes collection, but she gave instructions for a number of dishes that one might serve during a traditional Thanksgiving meal. We have included a sampling of those recipes here. (Note: these recipes are taken directly from Ms. Brannock’s collection and have not been edited.) If you try any of these recipes for the holidays, please let us know how it turned out by emailing us at belkarchives@elon.edu.

Main Course

Even though she did not give instructions for the perfect turkey, Ms. Brannock did include a recipe for stuffing:

Stuffing –  12 lb. Bird

3 cups of bread (toasted)

Brown lightly:

¾ cup celery

¾ cup onion

¾ cup margarine

1 tbsp. parsley

1 tbsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¾ tsp. poultry seasoning


1 ½ cup broth

Moisten lightly.

Stuffed weight: Add ¼ to weight on wrapper for stuffing.

Side Dishes

Green Bean Casserole

1 or 2 tbsp. butter                                               ½ pkg. grated Kraft Swiss Cheese

1 heaping tbsp. flour                                                    ½ cup cornflakes, crumbled

1 can French Beans                                                       2 tsp. melted butter

2 tsp. grated onion                                                        ½ tsp. salt

½ pt. sour cream                                                            1 tsp. sugar

Put butter, flour, salt, and sugar into double boiler, stir into paste, and take off stove. Stir in grated onion and add sour cream, cheese. Drain beans and pour into casserole. Fold in sauce and crumble cornflakes over the mixture. Add 2 tsp. melted butter and pour over top. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or more.

Holiday Style Potatoes

3 cups mashed potatoes

½ cup hot milk

4 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. each chopped parsley, pimiento

1 tsp. grated onion

Pepper rings

Beat potatoes until light and fluffy. Add other ingredients and serve in mounds in green pepper rings.

Variation: May add ½ cup grated cheese for different flavor.



2 cups bisquick

¾ cup warm milk

2 cakes yeast

1 tbsp. sugar

Add yeast and sugar to milk. Add bisquick, knead until blisters. Makes 18 rolls.

Whole Wheat Batter Rolls

Scald 1 ¼ c. milk

Stir in 2 ½ Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ c. shortening

Cool to lukewarm. Measure into bowl ¼ c.  warm water. Sprinkle in 2 packages dry yeast. Stir until dissolved. Then stir into the milk mixture. Add 3 ¼ c. whole wheat flour. Stir until well blended, about 1 minute. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double in size, about 30 minutes. Stir batter down. Beat vigorously for about ½ minute. Fill greased muffin pans about 2/3 full. Bake at 425° about 20 minutes.


Sweet Potato Cups

Mix:  1 ½ c. sugar

1 ½ c. milk

Add:  2 c. grated potatoes (add potatoes as you grate to keep from turning dark)

½ c. butter

Pinch of salt

1 t. vanilla

½ t. coconut and lemon flavoring

Stir well. Pour into orange shells. Sprinkle 2 T. sugar on top. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Put in top of double boiler                                          ½ tsp. salt

½ c. sugar                                                                       ½ tsp. ginger

1 ½ c. strained pumpkin                                             ½ tsp. nutmeg

2/3 c. milk                                                                       ½ tsp. cinnamon

Mix well and when hot add to 3 egg yolks slightly beaten. Return to double boiler, stir and cook.

Measure ½ c. cold water, add 1 tbsp. gelatin and when soft add to hot pumpkin mixture. Mix thoroughly and cool. When it begins to stiffen, beat 3 egg whites until stiff, beat in ½ c. sugar and fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill in refrigerator. Cover with whipped cream for serving.

Apple Crumble Pie

6 large tart apples pared and thinly sliced                1 tsp. lemon juice

1 unbaked pie shell                                                          ¼ c. brown sugar

¾ c. sugar                                                                            ¼ c. sifted flour

1/8 tsp. salt                                                       2 tbsp. butter or fortified margarine

¼ tsp. cinnamon                                                            ½ c. cut nuts

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Arrange sliced apples in pie shell and cover with mixture of sugar, salt, spices, and lemon juice. Mix brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter or margarine fine Add nuts.

Place in 250° oven turn to 400° bake 1 hour.

WGS Program Turns 25

Jennifer Smith
November 15, 2013

WGSlogoThe 2013/2014 academic year marks the 25th anniversary of Elon University’s Women’s/Gender Studies program.  A minor in Women’s Studies was first offered at Elon in the Fall of 1988 after having been approved during a February 1988 faculty meeting.  In the mid-1980s Elon professors, Dr. Seena Granowsky and Dr. Martha Smith attended a conference on Women’s Studies programs at Duke University and were inspired to create a program at Elon.  The two worked together to create the minor and the program of Women’s Studies in order to expose students to women’s issues through courses in English, History, Philosophy, Economics, and other related fields. Some examples of early course titles included Introduction to Women’s Studies, Feminist Approaches to Literature, and History of Women in the United States. Continue reading

Home Economics Maven with a Heart of Gold

Shaunta Alvarez
November 13, 2013

Edith Ruth Brannock ’39 received the Heart of Gold Award this year during Homecoming festivities. This lifetime achievement award was presented on behalf of members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and its predecessor, Tau Zeta Phi, to a sister alumnus that has “motivated and inspired others to know the power of one heart touching another heart; that has led a life that has exemplified to others that selfless service is a noble virtue.” This was the second time the award was been presented. The inaugural presentation was in 2010 when the award was given to Dr. Jo Watts Williams ’55, Vice President Emerita.

One could say that service and dedication to the Elon community are in Edith Brannock’s blood, even going all the way back to Elon College’s very beginnings. Ms. Brannock is a descendant of Rev. James O’Kelly, founder of the Christian Church, which subsequently founded Elon College. Both of Edith’s parents were Elon graduates. Her father, Ned Faucette Brannock, graduated in 1899; and her mother, Loula York Brannock, graduated in 1898. Ned Brannock also served as the much-loved professor of chemistry at Elon for over 50 years. Following in her father’s example, Edith taught home economics at Elon for 18 years. Continue reading

Veterans Day: Remembering Elon’s First Fallen Hero

Shannon Tennant
November 11, 2013

We celebrate Veterans Day on November 11 because it marks the end of World War I, when hostilities formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.  The first Elon student to die in the service of our country did so during this conflict, nearly 100 years ago.  This Veterans Day, let us remember Charles N. Whitelock.


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Hats Off to Elon College’s First Homecoming King

Julia Mueller
November 6, 2013

King and Queen David Bynes and Holly Good, show their excitement of capturing their titles.

King and Queen David Bynes and Holly Good, show their excitement of capturing their titles.

In 1993, the first Homecoming King at Elon College was crowned.  David Bynes (Class of 1997), a Communications major, represented the Black Cultural Society.  Holly Good of Alpha Omicron Pi was crowned Homecoming Queen.  The nominees represented twenty organizations, and the theme of Homecoming was “Hats Off to Hollywood.”  Each nominee wrote a personal statement and was interviewed by a Student Government Association Homecoming committee.  This constituted 40% of the score.  Popular vote accounted for the remaining 60%. Continue reading