Michigan Murder Mystery

Writer Jim Harrison is to letters what Woody Allen is to film. If that seems a stretch, consider: both are prolific, releasing a new work (or more) yearly. Both were born during the Depression, two years apart, both in December. Both mix drama and comedy into something that’s entertaining as well as thought provoking. Both are fixed on the complications resulting from relationships and sex. Both are obsessed with mortality. Both have tried their hand at writing from a woman’s point-of-view. Both are connected to specific locations, Harrison to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Allen to Manhattan’s Upper Westside (and more recently, Barcelona and Paris). Both are revered in France.

Okay, it’s still a stretch. The grizzled, one-eyed novelist and poet who wrote Legends of the Fall and some 30 other volumes of prose and poetry is more at home in the outdoors than the bespectacled urbanite who wrote and directed Interiors (no matter how much  of A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy takes place outdoors) . And while Harrison’s characters, like Allen’s, often dwell on the fact that their days, as everyone’s, are numbered, they don’t all take it personally. They’re more stoical about it.

Take 65-year-old Detective Sunderson from Harrison latest novel The Great Leader. “He thought just because you’re older doesn’t mean that death is imminent every day. There’s generally a tip-off when it’s coming.” Tips, being the detective’s stock-and-trade, need to be acted on. And Sunderson’s been given more than a few.

If your hunch is that detective fiction is out of character for someone as literate as Harrison, you’d be half right.  Detective Sunderson doesn’t break from the manly Harrison mold. He’s burly, fond of brook trout, dogs and deer livers.  He has a frustration-inducing appreciation for female posteriors and is prone to use whiskey as a cure. Three years ago, his troubled lifestyle cost him “the world’s finest woman,” according to his niggling 85-year-old mother. It’s his down-home style of introspection, in light of his vices, that stands him apart from the usual sleuth.

Recently retired after a career policing familial abuse, small-time drug dealing, and bear poaching, our detective is hardboiled country-style. When asked why he continues to follow The Great Leader out of the hummocks of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Arizona and the Sand Hills of Nebraska, he claims he’s investigating the evil connection between religion, money, and sex. A more accurate answer: he’s pursuing himself.

If this doesn’t exactly sound like Manhattan Murder Mystery that’s because it isn’t.  There are plenty of dark moments and intimations of mortality in The Great Leader, though balanced by comic action and witty asides. Plot? Only the barest, vulture-picked bones. Along the way, Sunderson is threatened with a sodomy charge, has a run-in with a Mexican drug kingpin, eats prodigiously and suffers gout. It’s not a thriller and there’s not a lot of suspense. But if you’re fond of existential puzzles, then The Great Leader is your rib steak.

In this age-of-anxiety sense, The Great Leader is reminiscent of Paul Auster’s1985 mystery City of Glass, an existential detective yarn in which the unraveling thread of the central charter’s psyche is more knotty than the mystery he’s trying to solve. While Auster’s tale is surreal, Harrison’s is well-grounded. Auster says, “nothing is real, except chance.” Harrison counters, “there is no truth, only stories. “ As a detective, Sunderson‘s heard plenty.

The real mystery here is Sunderson himself. Even as he plots the downfall of the cult leader for his taste in 12-year-olds, he ogles his 16-year-old neighbor girl, an exhibitionist whose bedroom window is just 30 feet from his. That and the excitement he feels almost every time a woman bends over cause him to curse “the distracting nuisance” of the biological imperative, like “carrying around a backpack full of cow manure.”

Harrison is skilled at straight-talking life’s big issues and the book is full of homily. “Crime did pay but usually very little,” Sunderson observes. Or, when marveling at the rejuvenating powers of time spent in the wild, “A creek is more powerful than despair.”

Not all such insight seems worthy: “Men would say they were as horny as a toad but who among them knew if a toad was horny?” Sometimes, Harrison’s dialog seems unnaturally smart, as when a tough plainclothes cop, describing religion as a drug, says, “you know, the Marxian opiate of the people.”

But by and large, Sunderland’s social and political one-liners give a jolt on almost every page. He’s outspoken on religion, Republicans, the FBI, American history (especially when it came to Native Americans), 9-11 and justice (“When a guy with four DUIs runs over a kid and receives less time than a college kid with a half-pound of pot…”); all tempered by his unruly self-doubt: “…what were his conclusions worth? Hadn’t he been put out to pasture?”

Sunderson eventually chases down a sort of religion of his own, one anchored in extended family and the natural world. Like Alvy Singer in Allen’s Annie Hall, he finds solace in his surroundings, a beauty and buzz of life that’s present no matter which landscape he’s in. It’s this revelation that helps him get his man. I won’t tell you which one.–Cabbage Rabbit




The Postman Rings Once

Albert Snyder’s murder in 1927 at the hands of his wife and her lover gave James M. Cain — and others —  ideas. As Literary Legend has it, the killing inspired Cain twice, once in Double Indemnity and again with The Postman Always Rings Twice . The actual incident was the perfect combination of sex and murder, and its telling in the papers overshadowed what was waiting on the economic horizon.

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion –the title pulled from a newspaper article of the time;  the chapters have equally Old Testament titles–is something of a tease. Hansen’s fictional period piece is big on “surge” and short on “guilt.” It’s as if the postman rang only once.

What we get instead is long on before and short on after. When the two finally dumb themselves into doing the deed (they’d already done dirty in many dirty ways), things move fast.

Hansen had benefit of memoirs from both of the condemned and is reported to have studied the incident throoughly.  While the juries, the attorneys and the public might have supplied endless material for  Hansen’s biopic, he instead concentrates on the accused’s lack of genuine guilt. The characters in both Postman and Identity, and their subsequent films, share the same base characteristics, all in different circumstances. Here, the not-so-star crossed lovers are oblivious in completely different ways.

The faux-steamy first section is where Hansen takes advantage of creative license. What he made up is damn good, presented flatly, judgmental in that it’s not.  And if the closing section, by comparison, seems to get bored with itself,  we should appreciate Hansen’s circling in quickly. It seemed like knowing how it was going to end suddenly made it less interesting even though we knew how it was going to end from the beginning. If this is the well from which much noir springs, it doesn’t give whatever cliche it’s attached to much support. And, as well,  it does. Are we all this self-absorbed? Hansen, with example, says in so many words that we like to think we’re not. Verdict? I couldn’t put it down.–Cabbage Rabbit

Auster Envy

Can a book be about so many things that it leaves readers wondering what the book is really about? That’s what novelist Malena Watrous suggests in her New York Times review of Paul Auster’s Sunset Park. Auster’s book frames classic themes — brother-against-brother, father-and-son alienation, Lolita-like attraction, fading beauty and failing endeavor — inside contemporary circumstances and a rich collection of characters.

The story is framed by the foreclosure crisis. Miles Heller, 28, works in “home preservation.” He is part of a crew that goes into abandoned South Florida real estate and clean it up so that the owners–the banks–can resell it as quickly as possible. Miles brings his camera and documents the wreckage left behind by the displaced families. The images he takes read like a litany: “…sofas, silk lingerie, caulking guns, thumbtacks, plastic action figures, tubes of lipstick, rifles, discolored mattresses , knives and forks, poker chips, a stamp collection, and a dead canary lying at the bottom of its cage.”

Miles also has a girlfriend, a bookish, 17-year-old orphan who leaves her older sisters to live with him. She does not want children, not yet, and denies his member (but nothing else) “the mommy hole.” The alternative? “The funny hole.” (Watrous, without mentioning the “funny hole,” suggests that the couple’s sexual limitations make their relationship not “fully real.” Does prudishness affect her judgment?)

In a somewhat ironic touch, Pilar, the girlfriend, suggests that The Great Gatsby was better for its narration from Nick Carraway rather than if Fitzgerald had used an omniscient narrator. Sunset Park‘s omniscient narrator looks into Miles’ mind and finds him wondering what made this young woman so different than the rest of her family. When circumstances involving Pilar’s older sisters force Miles to flee Florida, he accepts an old friend’s offer to move in to an abandoned Brooklyn house with a clan of squatters.

There, we meet Alice Bergstrom who is writing a thesis on the relationships between American men and women as mirrored in books and movies from 1945 to 1947. Another housemate, Ellen Brice, is living out the guilt of sex she had with a sixteen-year-old boy she was nanny for eight years back. Bing, the group’s rabble-roused leader, despises America’s throwaway culture and runs The Hospital for Broken Things, a mechanical metaphor for the broken lives that surround him. Then there is Miles’ father Morris, a publisher on the brink of losing his business and his current wife, and desperately seeking to reunite with his lost son.  Miles’ step-mother, an aging actress, is looking to re-establish her career, this time on Broadway.

Watrous finds  such wealth a distraction while concentrating on the book’s Lolita aspect and a certain contrary optimism that defines each of the skeins that Auster knits together. She argues with the way Auster tells his story; revolving third-person omniscience that includes little dialogue. She suggests Auster’s goal was “to write a conventionally satisfying novel while bucking many of the conventions of how to write fiction.”

May we respectfully disagree? Auster isn’t avoiding convention. He’s writing around it, his talk-deficient narrative with its psychological omniscience moves quickly across emotional territory but covers little time. It’s involving because it’s involved. Emotional because of its optimistic contrariness.

As for Watrous, you might  suspect she was writing under the influence of envy, if writers ever did such a thing. But let’s just say she doesn’t find Auster’s style to her liking.  The Rabbit likes Auster’s approach because it accelerates the narrative. The present musing speeds back and forth through time. Past events and thinking are revealed, future events anticipated. Allowing various persons to be the focus broadens the story and serves as a sort of fact-check on personal belief.

When dialogue does appear, always without quotation marks, it underscores character. When the notice eventually comes that the squatters will have to vacate, Bing’s radicalism ignites. But it isn’t hot enough to burn away his delusions. “They’ve given us notice, and now they’ll forget about us for a while. In a month or so, they’ll be back with another piece of paper, which we’ll tear up and throw on the floor again. And another time, and another time after that, and maybe even another time after that. The city marshals won’t do anything to us.”  The statement defines Bing’s entire life.

Sunset Park is a book about healing wounds and repairing lives (much attention is paid to William Wyler’s 1946 film The Best Years of  Our Lives which follows the troubles of three men returning to their women after World War II). It’s also a book about living in the moment, something Miles and Morris decide to do along the way, something Bing has always been committed to. Set against the backdrop of lost and abandoned homes, it’s a complicated piece of genius that frames timeless themes among contemporary situations. Too optimistic, as Watrous claims? Maybe she didn’t read to the end.–Cabbage Rabbit

Roles of a Lifetime

You might be surprised by some of the role models that filth-happy movie maker John Waters includes in his book of influences. A few are staid, respectful even tasteful models such as Johnny Mathis.  On the other hand…

Waters admires Mathis because they’re opposites. Mathis is, “So mainstream. So popular. So unironic, yet perfect.” With this observation,  Waters makes one of his more revealing personable observation. “Versus me, a cult filmaker whose core audience, no matter how much I’ve crossed over, consists of minorities who can’t even fit in with their own minorities.”

Like any of us, Waters just wants to be loved. More than he already is. Loved like Johnny Mathis.

Introspection isn’t Waters’ thing and if you’re looking for a direct view into the man’s psyche you’ll be disappointed. But you won’t be disappointed in the sideways glimpses he gives.  Waters guides us through the twisted world of his admiration with many side trips into tangential lives that all help define his eclectic taste. We already knew that Waters was different and he uses his role models to define that difference. What’s not included here is why.

And maybe he just doesn’t want to tell us. In an early chapter on Tennessee Williams, Waters questions whether Williams spoiled his public personae later in life with his Memoirs. “Was Tennessee Williams nuts to reveal everything about his personal life as he got older, or was he just high?” Yet Waters revels in the revelations and credits Williams with helping to work out his own sexuality. “Tennessee never seemed to fit the gay stereotype even then, and sexual ambiguity and turmoil were always made appealing and exciting in his work….Tennessee Williams wasn’t a gay cliche, so I had the confidence to try to not be one myself. Gay was not enough.”

Waters book is less about personal matters and more about preference. Most of the personalities introduced here — and there are many more  than the book’s ten chapters might suggest –are kindred spirits rather than role model. Waters finds something to like in all of them, including Manson girl Leslie Van Houten. His friendship with Van Houten isn’t well explained. Early on, he appears drawn to her because of his own exploitation of the Manson family  in some of his early film. He defends her on the grounds of mercy, retribution and the passage of time, even comparing her punishment to that of convicted Nazi war criminals. It’s the book’s most controversial and confusing chapter.

Waters is at his best when discussing folks out of the public eye. “Heroes of Baltimore” delves into the city’s bar and club scene (the good bars, “have no irony about them,” he says). He focuses on the nonconformist lives of lesbian stripper Zorro and the owner of the Club Charles, Esther, a “hard-working divorced mother of four.” Both of these heroes are dead and Waters interviews their children to get slightly biased looks at their lives. Around these tales swirl a host of strange counter and anti-cultural figures that reflect back on the author and his need to be different.

Elsewhere, we’re given a collage of personalities, famous and not-so, who define Waters obsessions, fascinations, crushes and quirks. Little Richard is problematic during an interview Waters does for Rolling Stone. A chapter on outrageous fashion designer  Rei Kawakubo explores the author’s fashion sense, with an emphasis on exaggeration, too much eye makeup and dirty finger nails. Yes, that pencil moustache gets help from a pencil. The most outrageous chapter explores Bobby Garcia, the “Outside Porno” king who convinces Marines that his blowing them on camera is part of an audition for straight porn. Then there’s David Hurles who cut himself a career by getting only the crudest and meanest amateurs into his work and inventing “verbal abuse porn.” Books figure large in Waters life, aired not only in the Tennessee Williams chapter but one called “Book Worm (get it?). We’re proud — or ashamed — we’ve read none of the life-changing books he recommends. And no, Catcher In the Rye is not on the list.

Waters brings the off-beat art objects that populate his apartment to life in the chapter “Roommates.” This anthropomorphic reference to scribbles, found items and renderings of turds suggests that his taste in art reflects his view of humanity and himself.  His remarks on artist Mike Kelly seems to define his own modus as a film maker. Kelly, like Waters, “can make you see something supposedly shameful in a beautiful, hilarious, radical, subversive way.”

The one word that doesn’t appear in the book is the one most used when describing Waters work:  “camp.”  Its omission suggests that Waters is looking for a kind near-mainstream acceptance of the sort attached to his more commercial films. While the word itelf isn’t used, there’s plenty of camp, Waters-style, represented. In the final chapter, “Cult Leader,” Waters becomes his own role model, calling out a new generation of perverts who are fanatical in their devotion to  “a new dogma of dirt.” It’s here our hero degenerates into cliched disrespect for cultural and religious institutions and social mores, an exercise in forced outrageousness that’s better stated in some of his earlier films. And he provides a final role model, Madeline Murray O’Hair, once owner of Baltimore’s New Era Bookshop, a woman Life magazine dubbed “The Most Hated Woman In America.”  Maybe Waters doesn’t want to be loved after all.–Cabbage Rabbit

Sum Of Its Parts

This Rabbit has never quite gotten Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero to equate. We read the book when it came out in 1985. We liked it for its take on the disillusioned youth of wealthy Los Angeles. We’d been around enough to know that rich kids always have the best drugs. While these spoiled brats weren’t part of any scene we knew, we knew they existed. And we couldn’t help identify with all the name dropping of locations and situations. After all, we lived in L.A., too.

Most of our confusion came a couple years later when the movie was released. We couldn’t keep the two straight. In the movie, drugs were a plague, in the book a symptom. Julian, an unlikable character in the book, gains a bit of sympathy as played by Robert Downey Jr. in the movie  (“a talented, sad-faced clown” according to Imperial Bedrooms). In the movie he dies. In the book, he only wishes he would.

So 25 years later, with the sequel Imperial Bedrooms, our confusion is complete. It’s 20 some years past and Clay, the narrator of Less Than Zero, tells us they had made a movie about the book about his life. “In the book, everything about me had happened. The book was something I couldn’t disavow. The book was blunt and had an honesty about it, whereas the movie was just a beautiful lie.”

Clay, the narrator of Less Than Zero, but not the blond screenwriter who went on to marry Blair, the girl in the book that Clay did and didn’t love, returns from New York in the sequel and is immediately plunged into a middle-aged version of his disaffected youth. Some of the old friends are there — Blair, Julian, Rip Millar, the once and future drug dealer, Trent, who has married Blair but who is still probably getting some on the side (both sides, like Blair’s father–remember? — who has since died of AIDS) — and much of the old evil. It was hard to like any of the characters in the original book, what with the snuff films and gang rape of 12-year-olds.  In the movie, Clay is a crusader of sorts and shows a bit of moral compass. In the book, he’s cold and distant. In the sequel, he is as self-serving, evil and corrupt as anyone else.

Ellis takes his two-sided characters and plunges them into intrigue, paranoia and an overall promise of no-good. Though it’s not about struggling lower class types who’ll do anything to get ahead (excluding, of course, the aspiring actresses), the book still carries the scent of noir. It’s a mystery with lots of paranoia, much easy sex and a sense of impending doom. Existential questions come in the form of , “Why am I being followed?”  or “Am I losing my mind?” or “Has someone been in my refrigerator?” In this way, Imperial Bedrooms is a much more entertaining book than its predecessor. There’s a murky plot to try and second-guess, there are femme fatales and some not so fatale as well as the feeling that no one can be trusted.  And yes, there’s plenty of drugs and alcohol and late night rendezvous. Murder raises its head right from the beginning.

Imperial Bedrooms does have something in common with the original and that’s its take on women. Women weren’t just desirable  second-class citizens in the first book. They were meat. The same is true here but with one hitch. Why does Clay lust after the mysterious Rain, what makes her become an object of hope and desire? There’s no explanation. Even her uncommonly good looks aren’t so uncommon among the uncommonly good looking. What Clay sees in her is something of a last chance even though he’s a guy who likes to take chances. Despite his attachment, she’s still an object. He never leads her to the bedroom. He “pushes” her there.

Like its predecessor, Imperial Bedrooms is one-sided in its take on class. The Hollywood rich may be evil but they’re visible, unlike everyone else. The few doormen and limousine drivers here have sold their souls to someone who can afford to pay them. The only Mexicans are drug thugs. The broad mass of Los Angeles’ population doesn’t exist.  Any truly great Los Angeles novel will be focused on everyone. The rich will be the ones who move through the city invisibly, even if they are pulling the strings. The shock of Ellis’ first book was just how young these debauched privileged children were — some of middle-school age —  and how little their parents cared. It’s not so surprising that their paid-for self-absorption is still there at 40.  There’s little in the way of moral lesson to be learned in these bedrooms (yes, we’re still quoting Elvis Costello). We already know that they’re all no good. “History repeats the old conceits….”  The song Ellis’ title are pulled from — “Less Than Zero”– was inspired, Costello says, by a British fascist who “was unrepentant about his poisonous actions of the 1930s.” Sounds like Ellis’ characters at any point in either book (but not the movie). At end, we read it for the name-dropping and to see who’s left standing. Oh, and who was in the refrigerator.–Cabbage Rabbit

Hefner’s True Love

Hugh Hefner may have had dozens of girlfriends over his 83 years, but his life-long love is jazz. Hefner declared his undying devotion to swing and big band music when the Rabbit interviewed him in 2008 for an inside story, “Jazz Playboy Style.” With all the recent attention, good and bad, given to Hefner —  Brigitte Berman’s documentary ” Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel that premiered at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, a  forth coming Hollywood biopic to be directed by Brent Ratner, a feature in the New York Times, rumors of financial problems and bad mouthings from former girlfriends — the Rabbit feels its time to revisit Hefner’s jazz legacy. Everyone knows what he did for the middle-class male libido. Let’s not overlook what he’s done for music.

“My own taste in music, as is often the case, was defined by my early experiences,“ he said in an afternoon call from the mansion. “There were two major sources of music in those days, the big band broadcasts on radio and recordings. I had some occasion in high school to take a girlfriend to a ballroom or a theater and see a band. I saw the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Harry James Orchestra, a couple of my favorites at the time. I really love the early origins of the music, the Dixieland, blues, and New Orleans music of the ‘20s and ‘30s. One of my favorites is Bix Beiderbecke. We still play a lot of him around here.”

Playboy’s affair with jazz dates to its very first issue in 1953 that included, along with the famous pictorial of “sweetheart of the month” Marilyn Monroe, a profile of the Dorsey Brothers. The magazine introduced its jazz poll in 1957 and its very first interview subject was Miles Davis back in 1962. The panel discussion on the state of jazz in Playboy’s “Jazz and Hi-Fi” issue of February 1964 included the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Cannonball Adderley, Charles Mingus and Stan Kenton among others. The discussion center on the future of jazz, how it might evolve, where it would be performed and how it would attract new fans. The schisms between old and new, tradition and innovation and even black and white are often visible. Still, the comments somehow seem apt all these years later.

Hefner often brought jazz standouts to his television series Playboy After Dark and Playboy’s Penthouse, appearances that demonstrated his love and knowledge of the music. In a classic scene from a 1959 installment of Playboy’s Penthouse, Hefner introduces the “divine” Sarah Vaugh with the respect and affection of a dedicated jazz fan. He notes that she’s appearing at The Empire Room in NewYork’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, a club not normally associated with jazz. “That’s quite a transition,” Hefner says. The singer agrees, saying she’s trying to attract those listeners as well. Hefner talks of Sarah’s early involvement with Earl Hines pre-bop band that included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He lets Vaughn introduce her accompanists. Then he steps back to let her enchant us with “Broken Hearted Melody.”

Or take another example from a 1960 broadcast . Count Basie is at the piano at what appears to be a swank penthouse party (it was actually a studio at Chicago television station WPKB ). Occasionally playing with one hand while cradling a cigarette in the other, Basie accompanies singers Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross, joined by Basie’s ”favorite son,” singer Joe Williams. They scat along to “The King,” a tune from the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross LP Sing A Song Of Basie. The composition pays homage to jazz royalty:  “Earl “Fatha” Hines, Duke Ellington and, of course, the Count. As the singers improvise a spiraling series of scat lines, a tuxedo-clad Hefner and a host of impeccably dressed men and women bounce along to the irresistible beat. Television has seldom seen a hipper moment.

The magazine, like the culture at large,  has largely ignored jazz over the last several years. And Playboy’s signature jazz festival, held annually at the Hollywood Bowl, has become something other than a celebration of jazz (though it always pays homage). But to find Hefner’s true devotion to the music of his youth, travel back to the inaugural Playboy Jazz Festival, staged at the old Chicago Stadium in 1959, an event that included a long list of the top jazz names then on the planet.

“What made Chicago [Playboy Fest] unique for me was the time frame and the giants that were there. [Jazz critic] Leonard Feather called it the single greatest weekend in the history of jazz. I wasn’t that far from my college and high school years and there I was standing on stage with all the greats that influenced me and were celebrities to me. It’s a moment impossible to recapture.”–Cabbage Rabbit

Flicker Of Change

Mark Harris’ account of the making of the five “Best Picture” nominees from 1967 is an epic tale of art, business and character. The films represent old Hollywood’s formulaic approach and devotion to past success (Doctor Dolittle), it’s frustrations in attempts at relevance (Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner), the obstacles it faced in coming up with something truly innovative (Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate) and its successes it spite of itself (In the Heat of the Night). Slow to respond to the desires of its audiences and resistant to new ideas and faces, Hollywood of the 1960s is portrayed as a giant dragged screaming into the future (has anything changed?). Richard Fleischer, Stanley Kramer and other established, mainstream directors give ground to progressives Arthur Penn and Norman Jewison and others weaned on the French New Wave while upstart theater director Mike Nichols challenges them all. Harris’ narrative is masterfully woven from subject and theme as well as the colorful threads of the various principals. The book can be enjoyed simply for it personalities: a persistent yet insecure Warren Beatty, the fearful, self-conscious and beautiful Faye Dunaway, Rex Harrison’s drunken self-obsession, the perseverance of Dustin Hoffman, Sidney Poitier’s dilemma as the only major black film star, Katherine Hepburn’s mothering of Spencer Tracy, Tracy’s alcoholism and physical decline. Its backdrop is the uneasy alliance between creativity and commerce, America’s racial struggles and a society ready to change and not sure how to go about it. Part cultural study, part juicy gossip, Pictures is a must for those interested in the past and future of cinema. And aren’t we all?—Cabbage Rabbit