The New York Times published today the holiday cards of several Democratic senators and the C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S cards of their Republican counterparts. They basically look like the cards you get from your non-politician friends: some of them are lovely, and some of them suck sooo bad. We have ranked a select number of them below, to help you in voting and in life.
Among other things, Bruce Oreck is a former body-builder, the son vacuum magnate David Oreck and the U.S. Ambassador to Finland. But far more importantly, he's the winner of the State Department's (imaginary) "Best Christmas Card" contest three years running, thanks to ambitiously weird images like this one, released via Oreck's Facebook on Wednesday.
While it seems that our names were somehow deleted (erroneously, we're sure) from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' "nice list" this holiday, at least one of our readers maintained good enough relations with Team Cruise to receive a Christmas greeting from America's Most Suspicious Nuclear Family. Happily, our operative took the time to painstakingly photograph the mysterious "card" they received last week, allowing those of us not lucky enough to make the list to share in the Cruise's heartwarming (if concisely expressed) seasonal wishes:
For the past three Decembers, the highlight of our Hollywood Holiday Card feature* has been watching management/production entity Benderspink's annual holiday card evolve from cut-rate Apprentice parody to disturbing, Giant Santa molestation fantasy to this year's surpassing achievement, a handsomely designed faux Us Weekly spread celebrating day-to-day life at the company, assistant-bludgeoning warts and all. Easily our favorite part of this mini-tour of the Benderspink offices is the They Develop Screenplays With Writers! panel, in which partner Chris Bender demonstrates the kind of mastery of three-act structure that will help shepherd upcoming prestige project Boob Job to incredible success.
Admittedly, after seeing Brett "Wolverstein" Ratner's 2005 holiday card featuring the beloved fauxteur dressed up as some sort of ferocious hedgehog and standing proudly front and center with his X-Men 3 cast, the feelings were bittersweet. Yes, we delighted in Halle Berry's failed attempt at keeping a straight face, to say nothing of the clever Semitification of Wolverine's name inside. But these were merely the fuzzy reiterations of a scanned greeting belonging to someone else, someone worthy. So imagine our delight when we received our very own card in the mail today! We still have no idea how it found its way past the various security clearances at Defamer HQ, but who can worry about protocol when Brett is personally thanking us for his "29 mentions in 2005!" (Truth be told, if he had added the word "hacktastic" to the search, he would have found four more.)
Yes, this latest installment in our Hollywood Holiday Cards feature is a little blurry, but no amount of rubbing your eyes will change what you're seeing: Brett Ratner, the famed fauxteur currently shooting the latest X-Men project, dressed as some kind of mini-Wolverine at the center of his cast of mutants. (Click the image for a larger version.) At first, we thought that Ratner had wastefully demanded that his wardrobe department make him his own "Wolverstein" (the name of his character as revealed on the inside of the card) costume, conjuring images of the leather-clad director nearly beheading his DP with his claws while trying to demonstrate a needlessly showy camera move. But then we noticed how bunchy the legs of his pants seem around the ankles and figured he's just playing dress-up in Hugh Jackman's clothes, hopefully sparing the cast and crew unnecessary lacerations by their excitable director.
For the second straight year, America's First Family of Celebrity Whoredom has saved Christmas by assembling in the same room (Please, baby Jesus, let it not be Photoshop!), gritting their teeth, and posing for their holiday card. While it's a relief that the spotlight is on the foregrounded Paris, we can't shake the depressing feeling that if the Hiltons truly loved and appreciated their attention-craving daughter's accomplishments, they'd erect an even crasser and more sexually suggestive shrine than the one in Rhode Island to celebrate her majesty.
We're happy to reintroduce our Hollywood Holiday Cards feature with this year's offering from the mud-wrestlin', wall-climbin', Beer-Pong-brawlin' management/production entity Benderspink, who most recently paralyzed us with comedic delight by burying cinematic treasure Ryan Reynolds in latex for Just Friends. We much prefer this 2005 sequel to last year's somewhat stale Apprentice parody, a set-up that can either play as a cute Christmas tableaux of Santa cavorting with kids on his Nice List, or the horrifying moment immediately preceding the giant Claus Kong's bloody rampage through a pajama-themed industry orgy.
Illustrator Tom Umbarger recently hopped in his time machine, snatched this Christmas card from atop someone's mantel, and returned just in time to share the merry Yuletide wishes of America's favorite improvised family with all of us. We'd assumed that since Maddox is getting his punk phase out of the way so early in life that he'd move on to something else (Goth, perhaps?) in his teens, but the kid's obviously no toddling poseur. Even more unexpected is Pitt's transformation into a character actor and Jolie's disturbing foray into Meg Ryan territory.