From 141 to the pages of Loquitur

By Mike Butler
April 19, 2001

by Mike Butler

My days at Cabrini are numbered, conveniently I might add by the Senior Class Board. The stark realization of this fact came in journalism class, where we selected our successors. They start next week, meaning this is the last column that I have written as Perspectives Editor of the Loquitur.

Looking back on my four years at Cabrini, I think it’s damn amazing I ever wrote for the Loquitur in the first place. I’ll give you the abridged version of this true and mind-boggling tale (which is still pretty damn long, but nowhere near as long as the full epic story).

I lived in room 141 of Xavier Hall my freshman year. It was in this room in the spring of ’98 that I started producing an independent publication known as The 141 Newsletter. It was born from a comment said in obvious jest by my roommate Nick Reilly about how our room should have a newsletter. So I made one. Mainly the Newsletter was just about stuff that happened in room 141, fictional stories about our inanimate roommates (like our blue marker Mortimer Ichabod and our refrigerator Frostman) and whatever else I felt like writing about that week. We distributed it to our friends and they thought it was extremely funny. Word got around Xavier about the Newsletter and by the end of the semester we had over 20 subscribers, including the RD and all four RAs. My roommates and I celebrated our implausible success by throwing a semi-formal in our room for our loyal subscribers. Not bad for something born from a joke.

I kept cranking out the Newsletter sophomore year, even though I no longer lived in 141 of Xavier. I was still the main writer, but now other people were submitting articles for it. We held Newsletter events, like miniature golfing in House 2 and a Ms. 141 Pageant. We had a devoted cult following on campus, so devoted that the Loquitur took notice of us. This was both a blessing and a harbinger. We received word that the Loquitur was interested in doing a story about the Newsletter. We replied back that we would love to be in the Loquitur, even though in previous issues we had prodded them, saying we were a superior publication in terms of entertainment value (which we were, wink wink). Two weeks later, the Loquitur had not gotten back to us about the story and we at the Newsletter felt slighted. So we proceeded to rip into the Loquitur. Sure, we could make relevant points when we wanted to, but we were still mainly a lewd and crude humor publication that shouldn’t have been taken too seriously. The Loquitur editors, however, did take us way too seriously and were incensed, especially the editor in chief whose name will be withheld because I’ve already caused her enough pain and psychological trauma in her life. This jump-started the infamous “141 vs. Loquitur” feud, and it got ugly. Real ugly.

The climax of this feud happened on “Speaking Out,” 89.1 WYBF FM’s call-in talk show. Nick and I were guests on the show. The show was supposed to be about Cabrini campus life, not about the Newsletter. That changed 10 minutes into the show when the irate Loquitur editors called in to the show from the newsroom to verbally tear into Nick and I (but mostly me). This is when the situation got downright scary. The thing to remember is that before the Communication Center was even conceived, the radio station, video studio and newsroom were in the Widener Center. When the radio station was broadcasting a talk show, they used the video studio to wire the multiple microphones and to comfortably seat the guests. One singular door separated the newsroom and the video studio. So imagine that you’re in a room and behind the door of your only way out are six angry people calling for your blood. Can you say “recipe for disaster?” Steve Murray, the general manager of WYBF at the time, seriously considered having Public Safety escort us out of the Widener Center after the show.

The next issue of the Loquitur featured a supposedly scathing opinion column about The 141 Newsletter, and also specifically me again, by the Perspectives editor (whose name shall also be withheld, but if you must know do your own research). I say supposedly because it did more to help the newsletter than hurt it and it wasn’t written that well either. The newsletter received 10 new subscribers that week, putting the total to just over 60. Take into account that the Newsletter was just something I produced in my dorm room for fun and raunchy giggles and this whole story sounds more absurd than a Samuel Beckett play.

The feud ended by the end of November ’98 with no further incidents. Four months later, production of the Newsletter ended when I got mono. Even after I recovered, I couldn’t get the newsletter started again. The newsletter was gone, but by April so were the Loquitur editors who hated me. New editors took their place, editors who had been Newsletter subscribers and contributors. They allowed me to write guest opinion columns in the Loquitur during their reign and actually pitched the idea of being Perspectives editor to me (an idea that originally and ironically started off as a jestful comment as well but ballooned into a good, feasible idea after thinking about it). I thought there was no way in hell I’d actually get the position, based on my dubious history with the Loquitur and my disregard of ethics, morals and journalistic integrity, but I did. The remainder of this tale you have witnessed yourselves this year.

So if there is anything to learn from this both significant and insignificant story it is that you never know where life is going to lead you. It can be a crazy ride so enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.

Mike `80s Butler was Perspectives Editor of the Loquitur. Now that he is free of this position, he can now spend his Tuesday nights doing more constructive things, like writing his manifesto or being a submarine captain.

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