I'm not sure what caused it, but for the last several months, the flash player just hasn't been working. After looking around and following all the steps (add-on already enabled, active X filtering already not on, already have lastest versions of Flash Player and Explorer 10 and video driver and windows updates), I decided to just uninstall Flash Player and then reinstall it, but now I'm at a dead end since the download/install pages keep telling me it's already pre-installed in Windows 8 apparenlty oblivious to the possibility of it having been post-uninstalled.
You cannot uninstall the ActiveX plug-in for IE in Windows 8 without manually removing a specific Windows Update KB Patch, and two individual registry keys. THAT'S why it still says it's installed... because it is. If you removed anything, it was the Standard Flash Player Plug-in that Firefox, Opera or Safri would use if you have any of them installed.
You probably need to repair IE: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318378