Someone else might have included this as part of the clarification between a Wonka and a Bunny Ears Lawyer, but as someone who self-identifies as a Wonka, I'll offer my own interpretation.
As it has been said, a BEL is a team player, and often a subordinate. In other words, he's someone who is hired or kept as staff (think of a star player in a sports team, who is weird) whose idiosyncracies are tolerated because of his level of ability, but who could
be fired, if he does what is perceived as going too far.
A Wonka on the other hand, is either a leader or (more commonly) a recluse. So while you might not like his weirdness, the main difference between him and a BEL is that you're stuck with it, and if there is a personality conflict, the Wonka will usually be in more of a position to get rid of you, than the other way around.
The price that the Wonka pays for this, on the other hand, is generally seniority; either age, experience, or both. We're basically talking about a less socially capable and more introverted (and also marginally less intelligent, and usually non-magical, or at least overtly) version of The Dumbledore
. House to me is actually one of the best examples of The Wonka
that I know of, to be honest. He's largely in a position where despite his weirdness, people need him to a sufficient degree that he doesn't get touched, as far as potentially being fired or otherwise removed is concerned.
So that, in a nutshell, is the main difference. A BEL, to me, was Lucius Fox, Morgan Freeman's character from the Nolanverse Batman movies. As in, yes he is both weird and brilliant, but he is still sufficiently vulnerable in terms of potentially losing his job, that he needs other people.
The BEL is the less senior version, who because of such, still needs to care about what other people think. The Wonka is the senior version. He's self-sufficient, so he can be as unrestrainedly nutty as he wants to be, without needing to care about whether or not it bothers anyone. In that sense, The Wonka
is closer to Chaotic Neutral
, usually trending towards Chaotic Good
, as is The Dumbledore
; but a little closer to CN than the latter. It's not a hard and fast thing.
Truly Dark Wonkas are rare. We generally won't at all mind helping you, but if you think we're insane, you can expect us to interpret that, as you simply being unfamiliar with the rules of our particular environment or system of thinking; not as a concession that said rules actually are irrational or insane.
As a result, we're also going to know that we need to think the way we do, in order to get what we need done, (it's a purely pragmatic thing) so we're not going to care if you think we're insane, because not only can we not afford to care, but the difference between us and a BEL, is that we usually won't need to. You're not our boss, so your opinion isn't really very important.
edited 8th Apr '12 2:14:32 PM by petrus4