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understood if the actions were moral.

Several justifications can be given for the


resulting event, but the issue worth
addressing in the end is if the crime
committed was deserved inevitably, or if a
heinous injustice has been perpetrated.
Many would argue that a heinous
injustice has been perpetrated in several
ways. A person has been deprived of their
life without due cause, property was
improperly obtained via criminal acts, a
community and family have been deprived
of the asset of one of their members, etc.
The moral execution of These are convincing, and worthy of valuing
for the sake of society, but the nature of the
Eduardo Contreras within environment in which Contreras was
simulated reality murdered presents an often overlooked
complication. The act of his murder was
committed within the city of Memphis, its
by Joseph Wheat expansive aura. Therein, the inhabitants are
not limited to their mundane lives, but are
An eighteen-year-old (Contreras) and his engaged in a machine of simulation. Within
younger brother were walking home from the city of Memphis, and its undocumented,
their grandmother’s in Hickory Hill, a discursive borders, simulation is the driving
subdivision of Memphis, TN, when they force behind what generates the city in
were accosted by two armed, masked men social, non-geographic space.
on 14 December, 2009. The two men Given that the event occurred in a
demanded money, at which point, Contreras simulated reality, i.e. Memphis, the moral
acquiesced by retrieving his only fourteen value of the act of Contreras’ murder must
dollars from his wallet which he had bear a different judgment than the one
received for his birthday, two days prior. offered by the previous justifications for the
Upon taking the money, one of the men shot immorality of the act. To better explain the
Contreras in the head. He later died. Neither simulated reality that is Memphis, one need
of the men has been apprehended or only examine the impressions of those
identified. outside Memphis, or within it. The crime
Events such as these, where no resulting within Memphis has become its own
retaliation or violence appears warranted, discourse, and its heart lies in the city jail,
demand the utmost care in dissecting the 201 Poplar. It is difficult to ignore this facet
motives involved. Nothing can be of the city, and thus the moral problems it
haphazardly assumed unless it is justified by raises when dealing with acts such as those
mounting empirical evidence. For a case committed against Contreras. Within this
such as this, there appears to be none. web of signs, robbery, murder, injustice are
Regardless of the motives, it should be valued above other signs as being worthy of
discourse. Thus such masked men approach
1
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2 unwitting individuals as Eduardo Contreras,
d/Dead_Bird.jpg rob them, and shoot them in the head.
What was done to Contreras in actual
reality could never be rationally considered
moral. Whatever the justifications of the
perpetrators, nothing can establish the moral
worth of shooting and killing an innocent
human being. The event occurred, however,
and it is something that must be addressed
with rationale where before it was lacking.
Even within simulated reality, the act is
immoral. The city has become an
embodiment of criminal vice, in more than
the sense of a Victorian diatribe. It is its own
brand of crime, deriving from the large
Black population and other various
influences native to the city. Memphis has
drawn its own unique Romantic flavor to
bear fruit for criminal heroes. The scourges
of the city have been vastly canonized by
their respective associates and liaisons,
justified by the discourse against what
oppresses the racially and politically
frustrated populus. In this climate, the
murder of a certain eighteen-year-old merely
becomes the cogs in the machine, the
expected norm. Reform can do nothing for
this, unless it takes into account this
mechanism and these tensions. Crime is
something that can never be fully purged
from a societal body. Murder without
apparent motive is something that can.

5 May 2010