I recently, half-joking, described the Cage and Cardew pieces Scenic Railroads will be performing next month as "looking at a bunch of lines on paper and making sounds from them." The woman I was speaking to looked at me awkwardly and replied, not-half-jokingly, "how pretentious."
It seemed exceptionally odd at the time. The pieces are almost 50 years old at this point; the idea hardly seems novel. But the real irony of the situation - that my description could have applied to several thousand year's worth of performed music's history - didn't sink in until a day later. Pretentious, indeed.