I don't believe some off-topic threads, such as yours, are meant to annoy. And I similarly do not entertain the "wanting attention" thing. And, I love cute animals and agree with other off-topic threads: I just look for those things in the places set aside for them.
Instead, I disagree with some of your premises:
* "topics in GD unrelentingly serious/grim" - there's plenty of GD/on-topic humor mocking wingnuts. Your premise is that humor, by definition, has to be off-topic for GD in order to be humor. If a "break" is needed, the fabulous multi-faceted DU provides all the other forums (fora?), not to mention pursuing the rest of the internet or just any other life activities, sleeping or whatever.
* "gravitate to certain forums, GD/comfortable." Somebody I agree with said, "Why not post in the appropriate forum to begin with?"
* In another thread on this Meta page, there's this: "then just what is the point of having rules." Others who have railed against the GD SoP have made their case saying that "General" means *anything*. When it was named "Soap Box" did that mean it was supposed to be about soap? So, "then just what is the point of having rules (SoPs)?" Instead of having forums and groups, why not just have one vast venue where EVERYTHING is posted together, from Lounge to Mid-East to guns and everything in between? Plus, this point of view seems to pontificate that THEY (the anti-SoPers) somehow have the unilateral privilege of making up their own rules, which they really could do by founding their own website. So, then, who are the members who must abide by SoPs and who are the ones with privileges to do what they want? I might ask how does a body get on the privileged list, but being Democratic and democratic I don't want to be privileged above any rules.
Really, please, I'm not hostile or negative to you, we don't even know each other for goodness' sake, am just responding on a topic that is a pet peeve that I participate in re-hashing.