There’s a lot of cynicism, self-importance, and preening in the blogosphere, but every once in a while you come across a blog so sweet that you momentarily forget all of those “Bush is a fascist!” and “The Democrats are helping the terrorists!” posts that infect the ‘sphere. Such is the case with “The Adventures of Art Lad,” also known as Thomas, a six-year-old who likes “to draw a lot.” Here’s his most recent post, “Rainbows and Lightning!”:

Alyssa is coming over!

Alyssa is a funny girl in my class. She will be in first grade with me. We ride the bus because she lives on the other street near me. Her brother is my friend.

She is coming over right now!

Her mom had to go out so she is coming over ‘til she gets back. Her brother is coming too.

Last year Alyssa sat at my table. I made her this picture.

But I didn’t give it to her.

It’s rainbows and lightning all together.

SHE’S HERE!!

Bye!

Wanna see the picture, a refrigerator-ready impressionist watercolor? You’ll have to click here.

From one of the Internet’s youngest bloggers to one of its oldest: 79-year-old Mildred Garfield, also known as Thoroughly Modern Millie. This past weekend, she decided to clean her beloved bedroom telephone with Windex. But then, “after a great day at the pool,” she went to make a phone call, only to discover that the phone wasn’t working. “I quickly went to my kitchen phone, called Radio Shack, explained that I had cleaned my phone with Windex and now the numbers weren’t working,” she writes. “The salesperson told me that I should not have used that product on my phone, it caused interior corrosion and I would have to buy a new phone.”

Luckily, Garfield is an optimist, and she decided to try the phone again the next day. “[A]nd what do you know, it worked!” she writes. “But I did learn a lesson.”

Ah, it’s so nice to hang out in this corner of the blogosphere, with its gratifying normalcy and freedom from Hitler comparisons. But we should probably get something a bit more substantive into the blog report, so here’s Michael J.W. Stickings of The Reaction, “[a]n independent, non-partisan, and mostly liberal-to-moderate blog on politics, philosophy, and culture,” using the return of Maureen Dowd to the New York Times to lament what he sees as the sorry state of the paper’s columnists:

You know, I used to like her. And I want to like her again. I really do. (Honest.) But now, like Thomas Friedman and his “flat” earth theory, she just preaches the predictable with repetitive abandon. Read one and you’ve read ‘em all. Such is the unoriginality that plagues the formidable op-ed page of the nation’s newspaper of record.

And it’s not just Dowd and Friedman. Tell me honestly that anything one of the other columnists writes ever surprises you. Paul Krugman and David Brooks are fine writers, but do you ever read one of their columns and say, “Wow, that’s brilliant!” Hardly.

Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.