Cage delved into a lot of uncharted territory, and did a lot of explaining about his theory and methods, often with a great deal of good natured humor. I don't know what about that creates a 'pseudo-intellectual smokescreen'. He seems the rarest of birds, an avant-gardist who wasn't all uptight about the 'seriousness' of his compositions. His methodical disassembly of musical rules in new and interesting ways make him a very important figure in 20th century music-- a genius. We're still catching up to some of them.