John Oliver's HBO half-hour comedy "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" planned to focus on the TSA. Instead, the events of the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend were so bizarre the show's writers switched gears. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concern regarding both Germany and the whole of Europe's ability to "completely" rely on the United States. Thoughts she expressed after her recent involvement in the international summits with the President of The United States, Donald Trump.

The sine qua non of an image

Add to this a slurry of strange pictures, for example, Trump bowing to receive a medal from the King of Saudi Arabia. Then, The Pope's solemn expression while being photographed with Trump.

Plus, a slew of students walking out of their college commencement while Vice President Pence gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University in Indiana in the state where Pence was governor before becoming the Vice President. Coupled with hundreds of more similarly provocative, curious images, and statements issued by the Trump White House. It is easy to understand Oliver's decision to ask the crude question on his program, "what the f**k is going on"?

What is going on?

Maybe we ought to turn back time to when Marvin Gaye asked the same question. Gaye's question seems almost tame today. At least then we knew he was contemplating the Viet Nam War, racial discord, and just downright indecency.

It is hard to image we could long for those days. Since at least then we knew that Marvin Gaye's question was a spiritual one. He was pointing out "war is not the answer." We could wrap our heads around that. Today John Oliver, Marvin Gaye, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all have one thing in common. Fear of the unknown.

Arguably, the waters we are in today are far less unchartered than the waters Gaye sung about in "What's Going On." We can only imagine what Gaye would write and sing about today. Unfortunately, he died too young at the hand of his father. Gaye's father shot and killed Marvin after an unfortunate family quarrel.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty

Looking back Marvin Gaye's sad demise was evident. All the signs were there, yet no one could quite see them to prevent the tragedy that was about to happen. Nonetheless, the flood-gates had opened leading the Gaye family down the road to a tragic end. In a very similar way, both John Oliver and Chancellor Angela Merkel are asking the same question Marvin asked. Listen to the lyrics of Gaye's iconic song; yes, it is about Viet Nam. Additionally, there is a subtext in the song. Almost as if he were predicting his fate, yet had no way to stop the flood of waters that had long since been let loose. Here is the question. Could Gaye's lyrics be The United States' swan song? This may well be the subtext of the question that Merkel and Oliver are contemplating.